Friday, July 11, 2014

Environmental pushback starts up on Pacific Northwest LNG proposal

As we've outlined on the blog in recent weeks, the Pacific Northwest LNG project appears to be the one currently with the most momentum on the North Coast.

With the Petronas backed proposal moving forward into its environmental review and with hopes of some form of a final investment decision to be made on the status of the project in the near future.

That forward momentum however, makes the Pacific Northwest project a high profile target of sorts and for many on the environmental side of the debate, the Lelu Island proposal is one that is making for much in the way of review and push back.

Yesterday we outlined the work of a local scientist on the theme, reviewing Dr. Barb Faggetter's presentation on Monday evening to Prince Rupert City Council regarding the Lelu Island development.

Her presentation and the accompanying website offerings provide her take on the risks she believes are involved when it comes to the Lelu Island site, however she's not alone it appears when it comes to offering up a view against any development in that area.

The topic of development adjacent to the Flora Bank area, has also captured the imagination of some in the Vancouver media, with a number of articles recently published on the theme of a Study from the SFU School of Resource and Environmental  management.

The Georgia Straight offered up this review of a study from researchers at Simon Fraser University, which echoes some of the talking points that Dr. Faggetter delivered to Council this week.

The Vancouver Observer also provided this article related to the SFU study, with a rather alarming headline that states a collapse of BC Wild salmon is imminent.

A copy of the current peer review of the SFU study can be found here.

Many of those issues of course will be reviewed as part of the environmental assessment process currently underway.

With that process still moving forward, we have still to be delivered any final review from both the CEAA and the BC Environment Agency regarding the proposed development.

Those with concerns over the Lelu Island project, have for the most part outlined some of the worse case scenarios that could come from it.

Though a reading of some of those findings would suggest that each and every project that has been proposed for the region, would have to move forward, to bring those dire scenarios to the forefront of the issue of development.

Considering the laborious path that some of the other projects seem to be taking, at the moment the full development theme seems rather unlikely.

So far, the only proposed development that is even remotely close to making any kind of final investment decision is the Pacific Northwest LNG proposal, something that many should keep in mind as the review continues into the impact to the area.

One imagines hat upon completion of the EA process, that Pacific Northwest LNG would be looking to look for ways to offset many of the concerns over sediment issues and damage to the eel grass  when it comes to the Flora Bank.

As part of their review for the Environmental Assessment, the company has outlined some of those plans when it comes to the issues of development of the site. Though critics of the Petronas proposal are quick to highlight the need for caution when it comes to proponent funded research on such issues.

With the Pacific Northwest LNG project the only one that seems to have much in the way of actual momentum at the moment, finding the right balance between economic development and attention to environmental concerns is key to the economic planning for the region.

There is more background information related to the Pacific Northwest LNG project available on our archive page.

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