Cautious Optimism on Pacific NorthWest LNG Report

By Aiswarya Lakshmi
Saturday, February 13, 2016
Pic: Pacific Northwest LNG

 Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA)  has ruled that Pacific NorthWest LNG’s project in British Columbia would likely harm harbour porpoises and contribute to climate change, but the export terminal could be built and operated without causing major ecological damage, reports The Globe and Mail.

 
CEAA says that the Pacific Northwest LNG project will not lead to significant adverse impacts on the Skeena salmon fishery.
 
The federal government has released its draft environmental assessment report on the proposed Pacific NorthWest liquefied natural gas terminal, but First Nations and conservation groups in Northern B.C. say their input wasn’t taken into account. 
 
The 257-page report states the multi-billion dollar project on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert would have “significant” adverse environmental effects on harbour porpoises and in the production of greenhouse gases in Northeast B.C., but not on fish habitat. 
 
The report is welcomed and will be carefully reviewed, said Tsimshian Chiefs representing Metlakatla, Gitxaala, Kitselas, and Kitsumkalum First Nations. The Chiefs will bring forward strong conditions for the project to provide full confidence that the environment will be properly monitored and protected. 
 
Chief Harold Leighton (Metlakatla) said: "We strongly advocated for additional research, particularly 3-D modeling, to understand the impacts of Pacific Northwest LNG's project on Flora Bank. This work has been completed, independently reviewed by our environmental teams and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA). We will review CEAA's scientific findings and develop our conditions that give us full confidence that salmon fishery is protected." 
 
The consortium led by Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas faces a series of conditions outlined in a separate 20-page document. Those recommendations include monitoring salmon habitat in Flora Bank, a sandy area located next to Lelu Island. Another potential condition is the implementation of programs to reduce the adverse environmental effects.
 

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