Open letter to Honourable Premier Christy Clark.
My name is Des Nobels and I live in Dodge Cove on Digby Island, on B.C.’s north coast. I am writing to you in an open letter with regards to concerns I have with the proposed Nexen-CNOOC, Aurora LNG project slated for the south end of Digby Island. After two letters to your office and one failed meeting with Minister Coleman at the UBCM, I felt that I was left with no choice but to address you in this fashion.
Here is the problem; the provincial government made available crown land on Digby Island for development, with no notice to either the Regional District or the community of Dodge Cove. This attracted the interests of Nexen-CNOOC as a spot for their proposed Aurora LNG project. Upon completion, this proposed project would surround our community and be within half a kilometre of the community’s boundaries. I believe this contradicts international standards and the LNG industry’s own best practices.
If this project moves forward, our community of over 100 years could disintegrate as people leave due to concerns of living with noise, light and air pollution so close to their homes. This, along with the destruction of the natural habitat would make living here intolerable.
As a citizen of B.C., I cannot believe that this is what you, the premier, had in mind when you embarked down the LNG road. I hope this is not the world-leading best practices the province continually refers to.
Where else in the world are LNG facilities built this close to people?
I understand international standards require at least 3.5 kilometres from human habitation on all sides. What world-leading standards and best practices is the B.C. government using to inform the siting of LNG facilities?
To date, I can find no clear provincial standards.
The residents of my community are living with the stress and anxiety of what this project will mean for their futures, but I believe that the answer lies in strict adherence to at least the international standards of 3.5 kilometres from human habitation and following closely the industry’s best practices as set out by the Society of International Gas Tankers and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO). At present it appears that not one of the four LNG proposals for the Prince Rupert area meets the SIGTTO guidelines.
In closing, I would urge you, the premier, to meet with my community so that you might better understand what is at risk, to clearly define what the province means by world leading and to create transparent best practices for the siting of all LNG facilities in the province of British Columbia.