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Rice welcomes LNG recommendations

This image shows the number of pipelines currently proposed for projects in either Prince Rupert or Kitimat. - Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition and Skeena Wild
This image shows the number of pipelines currently proposed for projects in either Prince Rupert or Kitimat.
— image credit: Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition and Skeena Wild

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice is welcoming recommendations from the Select Standing Committee on Finance that relate to the development of LNG in the region.

One of the recommendations of the committee, based on feedback received during community consultations earlier this year, is "the creation of a common energy corridor" for the numerous pipelines needed to feed proposed LNG terminals in Kitimat and Prince Rupert. The Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition and Skeena Wild list seven pipelines coming west, including the Enbridge Northern Gateway, and Rice said one corridor is only logical.

"Initially the B.C. Government committed to three LNG projects between Kitimat and Prince Rupert but it now seems the government's plan is 'the more the merrier' ... if more than one of these projects gets off the ground then a corridor seems logical as that would have the least amount of impact to the environment and people who live in the North," she said.

"It does not make sense to have a spiderweb of pipelines zigzagging through important salmon rivers in mountainous, highly seismic terrain."

A B.C. Ministry of Natural Gas Development spokesperson said work on the idea is already underway.

"The Environmental Assessment Office and the Oil and Gas commission have initiated a 'Pipeline Corridor Analysis'. The analysis will examine the potential impacts of all the proposed pipelines against the existing legal and policy land management framework," he said in a statement.

"In conducting this analysis, EAO will be better positioned to examine and, if necessary, address the potential impacts of proposed pipelines at a strategic level."

Another recommendation from the committee was to undertake a cumulative approach to the LNG terminal assessments, which would look at what could happen if multiple projects move forward. The Ministry said it has created two teams of "provincial experts" for both facilities and pipelines, but Rice said she agrees with the idea of a cumulative assessment that goes beyond that proposed by the committee.

"The cumulative impact assessment should also take into consideration other proposed and existing industrial projects ... this assessment needs to include a thorough health analysis on the people living amongst all this industrial development," she said.

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