Today, we find ourselves in a situation, when we were asked in 2016 to trust the approval of the project because of legally binding conditions, to submit our input about changing some of those conditions. Woodfibre LNG wants to change conditions that are an integral part of the Federal approval of the project. The approval and conditions date back to 2016 (Was reissued in 2018 to reflect the changes in type of cooling system).
Since 2018, the 2012 environmental review Act was replaced with a new environmental review Act in 2019. Because of that new Act, conditions can now be added, changed or removed, something the 2012 Act didn’t accommodate for. And conveniently, approvals under the 2012 Act are now “deemed to be” approvals under the 2019 Act.
As Concerned Citizens Bowen, we stand on the position, that when the public is asked to trust an approval because of conditions, those conditions will not be changed after the fact. This is exactly what we understood it to be on March 18, 2016, the day the federal Decision Statement for this project was issued.
The EAAC press release on March 18, 2016:
“In her Environmental Assessment Decision Statement, the Minister established legally binding conditions, which include mitigation measures and follow-up requirements with which the proponent must comply throughout the life of the project.
To give your input now, please use links below. The deadline is Monday Jan 30, 2023:
- Use the My Sea to Sky letter writing tool
- Use Impact Assessment Agency of Canada – Woodfibre LNG – public input tool
To learn more about the proposed changes, continue reading.
The proposed changes can be found in the Draft Analysis by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada
Proposed condition changes summarized
Fish and fish habitat – Condition 3.8
Woodfibre LNG wants a 99% reduction of the underwater noise safety precautions for sea-lions and seals, from 7,233 meters to 125 meters from the noise source.
- The methods used to calculate the boundaries were developed by the US Nations Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Washington State Department of Transportation. For the review the Canada’s Impact Assessment Agency contacted neither of them.
- What signal does it send to if we were to allow such reductions to safety precautions in Biosphere Reserve.
- The science on underwater noise and the (cumulative) effects on marine life is rapidly evolving.
- The federal government is to publish its Canada’s Ocean Noise Strategy in the next few months.
Human health – Condition 6.4
Woodfibre LNG also wants a condition for fresh and marine water quality monitoring and mitigation during construction rewritten to only include human health, not the protection of aquatic life. Not a good idea, as this is an old pulp mill site, and so the risk of the pile driving remobilizing legacy pulp mill chemical contaminants in the sea-floor is pretty much a given.