Prince Rupert harbour no place for LNG terminal

A friend of mine came waving the newspaper, dated May 28, 2014, at me saying, "Look at this!"


A friend of mine came waving the newspaper, dated May 28, 2014, at me saying, “Look at this!”

“This” was a seemingly innocuous advertisement, on Page B9 in the classifieds of The Northern View. This was a property, on which sits a portion of Prince Rupert’s water source, not a small issue at all, which announces the proposed sale of that property — for a dollar — to something called the Prince Rupert Legacy Inc.

Her question was why and who controls the Prince Rupert Legacy Inc.?

Well, with a little foot work, we found the answers to the why. She did a little digging and found out the city acquired this land, DL444, for the purpose of protecting the water supply.

At some point in the story enters two

companies — two large oil companies I might add, Imperial and ExxonMobil — but now known as an “LNG proponent” that have some kind of agreement with the city (Northern View, June 4) regarding this property which borders out harbour waters and could potentially be a shipping point for LNG. If the city sells or leases this land to big oil, the money needs to go into “this wholly owned subsidiary of the city” so that they can use the money they so desperately need for something other than buying or leasing more property.

Do you think this land is unsuitable for an LNG terminal? Well the sensible answer would be “no”, for the protection of the water source alone. Do you think it is possible for them to use it for a terminal? Well yes! Have you heard they can put what they need for an LNG terminal on floating barges? Have you heard that the safety of LNG is not as “safe” as the LNG proponents would have us believe?

In my mind’s eye I am trying to imagine some of the world’s largest super tankers passing in front of our entire waterfront to the entrance of Tuck Inlet. In the USA, the Coast Guard requires two miles of “No Access Zone” in front of each tanker, one mile behind each tanker and 750 yards at each side. Considering that the Prince Rupert harbour is only two kilometres across from the entrance of Dodge Cove to Fairview Dock, then our harbour would be completely shut down every time one of these monstrous tankers moved in the Harbour. Using some basic math it seems that passage through our Harbour would be out of the question, with the “No Access Zone” leaving only 229 feet for the width of the vessel and the width of a tug on each side. It is also noted in the description of an LNG terminal on the Eastern Coast of the United States, that the private corporation would be in control of coastal waters, essentially having the ability to shut down other shipping, recreation and commercial fishing. One terminal, Pacific Northwest, on Lelu Island indicates that during Phase 2, it will have one tanker a day plying these waters.

Apparently, the DL444 land has to be rezoned for the LNG proponent to use it for its own purposes. It seems the citizens of Prince Rupert are the ones to either stop this or let the scenario play out through a rezoning issue.

I have faith that the citizens of this town will take time to do the research and who knows – maybe the citizens will be the ones in control of the impending situation – the Prince Rupert Legacy Inc. and the land with its water resource.

Carol Brown

Prince Rupert