Letter to the Editor: Facilities too close for ‘best practices’

I am strongly opposed to the Aurora LNG facility proposed for Digby Island.

Editor:

I am strongly opposed to the Aurora LNG facility proposed for Digby Island. The present site offered to Nexen/CNOOC (China National Offshore Oil Corporation) by the provincial government of British Columbia and the Prince Rupert Port Authority not only contravenes the Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators’ Siting Standards but puts citizens’ health and safety under significant risk. All of us who live on DIgby Island and in the Prince Rupert area, who travel in and out of the harbour and all those who use the airport are within the three hazard zones defined by Sandia Laboratories in a report for the US Department of Energy.

The largest hazard zone is 3,500 metres from an LNG carrier or berthing facility. The proposed berth and LNG terminal’s location at Frederick Point on Digby Island at the entrance to Prince Rupert harbour would be 500 metres from the centre of the navigational channel. BC and Alaska ferries, container ships, coal and grain carriers, cruise ships, tugs and barges, fishing vessels, pleasure craft and resident mariners all must pass through this narrow water way. Aurora LNG, if built on the Digby site, would put all this marine traffic in jeopardy.

The proposed Aurora LNG terminal would be only 1,000 metres from the community of Dodge Cove and its generators only 500 metres from the community. No mitigation measures are substantive enough to counter the severity of the many negative impacts if this facility is built. The only solution we seek is that this high risk and potentially lethal LNG export facility not be built on Digby Island and that any future site be better situated further away from human habitation and a busy, narrow port entrance and away from the Skeena Estuary.

The B.C. government keeps stating that they will ensure best practices for the LNG industry in B.C. and that their standards will be world class. What are “best practices” if they don’t even conform to internationally established standards? Definitely not what could truthfully be called “world class”.

We call on our federal government agencies to establish and apply sound safety regulations aligned with international standards for all LNG facilities to be built in Canada.

Laura Moore

Prince Rupert