Residents want consultation

Staff writer
February 7, 2014 01:00 AM


Sunshine Coast residents are concerned, and want information.

The Woodfibre project slated for Howe Sound is expected to have a liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage capacity which exceeds the thresholds set out in the federal regulations, and is thereby reviewable by the federal government.

Knowing this, the B.C. government requests that only B.C. proceed with its environmental assessment on the proposal.

How can we have faith in a B.C. environmental process when they withhold a report from the public that measures the greenhouse-gas emissions associated with developing an LNG industry? Could increases from LNG emissions double, or more, the province's entire output of GHG emissions? Can we really trust an unbiased environmental assessment by a government who is pushing for LNG facilities in B.C.?

With the cutbacks proposed for the Canadian Coast Guard by 2015, questions arise around citizens' safety. What is the emergency response plan for an LNG explosion in Howe Sound?

Eight or more LNG tankers, 295m long by 47m wide or larger, would be travelling through our BC Ferry route each month. Tankers and support vessels require a safety exclusion zone of two miles ahead and one mile astern while fully loaded.

This zone will affect the travel of commercial maritime traffic, BC Ferries, and recreational boat traffic.

Powell River, Texada and Savary island residents and businesses will also feel the effects of any disruption of ferry schedules.

Our two weekly newspapers on the Sunshine Coast have been void of information of the ongoing public engagement with Woodfibre LNG, yet we will be directly affected. This is discrimination against residents and First Nations by the proponent and by both federal and provincial governments. We continue to ask to be included in the public process. We remain hopeful.

Vel Anderson, Gibsons

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