Bill would give provincial government oversight of LNG projects on Prince Rupert Port Authority lands

The provincial government has introduced legislation that would allow it to oversee LNG-related development on federal port lands.

  • Feb. 17, 2015 7:00 p.m.

The provincial government has introduced legislation that would allow it to oversee LNG-related developments on federal port lands, including lands managed by the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

The Federal Port Development Act, Bill 12 introduced on Feb. 16, extends provincial authority and the application of provincial law to projects such as those proposed by Pacific NorthWest LNG and BG Group as they are located of port authority land. For example, agreements under the act would detail how the BC Oil and Gas Commission would oversee development and operations of LNG facilities at a federally regulated port.

Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman said this legislation provides additional certainty to the developing LNG industry in B.C.

“Proponents will be able to invest in a facility knowing the rules that apply and provincial officials will ensure LNG operations are safe and environmentally sound,” he said, adding that projects proposed for Prince Rupert are expected to be the first to fall under the legislation.

While the province would have authority over LNG-related development, the province notes that marine traffic and LNG shipping operations would continue to be under the umbrella of Transport Canada and the Canada Marine Act.

Skeena – Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen said he doesn’t have a problem with the provincial government becoming involved with federal port lands, but wasn’t a fan of how the federal government approved its portion of the deal.

“Part of my concern was how it was passed through government as part of a 450 page omnibus bill … but if it brings the decision making closer to the community then it is something I am in favour of with the caveat that it includes real consultation and doesn’t take anything away from the process,” he said.