New LNG regulations for Prince Rupert port

New LNG facilities regulations handed down by the federal Ministry of Transportation have no surprises in store for the PRPA

New liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities regulations handed down by the federal Ministry of Transportation have no surprises in store for the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA).

Any and all proposed LNG facilities to be built in Prince Rupert on federal lands will be required to abide by the new measures, published on June 20 in a report issued under the federal authority of the Canada Marine Act, titled Port of Prince Rupert Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities Regulations.

“We’ve been directly involved with [the regulations’] creation, working alongside Transport Canada and we were aware that this was going to happen,” said PRPA marketing and communications officer Kris Schumacher in early July.

“The essence of them is specifically to include provincial legislation that will allow the provincial oil and gas commission to carry out certain functions with respect to the projects during their construction and operation.”

Four objectives have been outlined with respect to the regulations – to establish a federal regulatory regime for LNG projects in B.C. and specifically the Port of Prince Rupert, to make sure the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission (OGC) has LNG facility construction and operations oversight, to reassure investors, developers and the public that there is a mandated regulated regime in place and to have consistency in LNG projects on B.C. federal or provincial lands.

While the port would abide by these new standards, they are far from removed as an operating and administrative body.

“It provides more certainty on a number of aspects. For example, during safe navigation and managing port lands which we already do, we’ll still have that same role to play if either of the two LNG terminals on port lands come to fruition, but also if any of the other two, which are not on our lands [go ahead]. For the water lots which are under our control, we’ll still be responsible for safe navigation and the planning of marine berths,” said Schumacher.

“It’s not something we were caught off-guard by in any respects. We were involved with it from the get-go and this is just another piece of the process to formally introduce a new export industry to Canada.”