Spokespersons for Chevron Canada opened up about their plans on Clio Bay and the proposed restoration project, to councillors on September 30.
It was the company’s first time reaching out to councillors on the subject which has been a sore spot for some in the past several weeks, with some councillors and residents speaking out against the proposal to dump marine clay from the Kitimat LNG site at Bish Cove, into Clio Bay.
While the project is claimed to be beneficial for the sea floor in terms of rejuvenating life, not everyone is convinced.
But David Molinski with Chevron, through his presentation and with other company experts, gave their perspective that it’s a well thought out plan that will help, not hinder, the environment.
He explained the idea was given to the company about a year ago from the Haisla and they’ve been investigating it since.
Tim Edgell, a marine biologist with Stantec, working with Chevron on this project, said that the woody debris on the bottom of Clio Bay doesn’t provide as much biodiversity as there could be.
“In terms of what could be there, what could be there in an adjacent bay…there would be higher biodiversity,” he said of the clay dumping plan.
Councillor Phil Germuth held the representatives’ feet to the fire though, slamming them for the approach to community engagement.
“This was hidden from us, we were never brought into the picture,” he said. He noted that with a planned early 2014 start to the project, Chevron now has only given the community three months to be informed on the project.
Molinkski apologized for not seeing them sooner.
On questions from Mario Feldhoff on bay access, Molinksi also said the plan is not finalized yet so he couldn’t speak to the extent of possible access restrictions.
“Our goal is to work with the community to find out when people are using it, what kind of impact we might expect, and make sure we minimize that as much as possible,” he said.
Germuth followed up saying he had written a letter to Chevron after seeing representatives at a recent local government conference, expressing disappointment that the company was not following their own, self-described “Chevron Way” in representating themselves.
Germuth would rather have seen more opportunities for questions at Chevron’s planned Clio Bay Open House, which was scheduled for last night at the Riverlodge.
Councillors were also invited to technical briefing on the project earlier October 8, the lack of earlier briefings another of Germuth’s pet peeves with the company.