The City of Prince Rupert has set dates for a public information meeting and public hearings on the liquefied natural gas export terminal being proposed on the harbour across from Seal Cove.
The city started talks with WCC LNG, a partnership between Imperial Oil and Exxon Mobile, about the possibility of constructing a LNG export terminal on the west side of District Lot (DL) 444, which the city had recently acquired from the provincial government.
The city is in the process of including DL 444 into its Official Community Plan, recommending the land be split into two parcels and put under different zoning regulations.
City staff recommend the easterly portion of DL 444, where WCC LNG is investigating its facility, be put under the heavy industrial “M5” zone, which is specific to liquefied natural gas development. Coun. Joy Thorkelson suggested an amendment be put in place that would ban developments with any oil product from being located within the area, which was supported by members of council.
It’s being recommended that the westerly portion of DL 444, which is closest to Kaien Island, be preserved for a future-public space with access to the waterfront. City staff have proposed the area be designated as public facilities, allowing for uses such as park and recreation space, public institutions, cemeteries and wind power projects.
The topic will be brought to residents at a public meeting, set to take place between 5 an 7 p.m. on Nov. 25 at the Highliner Plaza Hotel. The meeting will have city staff and WCC LNG provide the public with information on the project.
Then, in December, the city will host a public hearing on the zoning proposal, where residents can voice their thoughts to the newly-elected council. If required, a second public hearing would be held.
Both the meeting and hearing will include the findings of Dr. Barb Faggetter, an independent scientist who was hired to undertake a study considering the environmental impacts designating DL 444 under the suggested zones could have.
Robert Long, Prince Rupert city manager, noted the city did not pay for the study.
“As Legacy Inc. is a wholly-owned company of the city, and had the resources to (hire Faggetter) that came directly from the proponent and not from the city’s budget, we went ahead and did that,” he said.
With all of the confusion regarding the role and operations of the Prince Rupert Legacy Corporation, Coun. Anna Ashley suggested that any information available on the group be posted onto the city’s website.
The newly-elected council will consider the approval of zonings at the Dec. 8 regular council meeting.
Coun. Gina Garon excused herself from the discussion for an unspecified reason.