Environmental assessment certificate given to LNG Canada

The province and the federal government have given their environmental approval for a planned LNG plant in Kitimat.

LNG Canada has received an environmental assessment certificate which gives them the environmental OK to build their plant.

This decision doesn’t mean the company will definitely move ahead to a construction phase — that would happen only after the company issues a positive Final Investment Decision (FID).

Even so, the awarding of the certificate is a major milestone for the project.

The certificate does come with 24 conditions, including environmental monitoring, developing a greenhouse gas emissions management plan, and mitigating and monitoring impacts to marine mammals during construction and shipping.

A unique aspect of this particular environmental review is that it’s the first to be given a certificate under a “substituted environmental assessment” meaning that a single process, lead by British Columbia, provided the review actions on behalf of both the province and the federal government.

The federal government shortly after B.C.’s announcement also formalized their approval of the process, and added 50 conditions as well for LNG Canada to follow.

From here the company will still need federal approvals from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Transport Canada and Environment Canada, and a number of regulatory approvals at the provincial level at different stages of the project.

Within the executive director’s list of recommendations in the Reasons for Ministers’ Decision document, a number of concerns were laid out relating to the project.

In a subject known well to people in Kitimat, the environmental assessment office noted concerns regarding cumulative emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

The report says that “the assessment predicted that cumulative SO2 ground level concentrations would be above the Ministry of Environment’s interim Ambient Air Quality Objectives,” but added that “the project on its own did not exceed any objectives or guidance, but predicted exceedances were the result of future cumulative emissions, particularly the emissions from the Rio Tinto Alcan facility.”

The EAO report on reasons for decisions notes that they’re aware of government action to study the cumulative impacts to air quality in the Kitimat air shed and efforts to put in place programs to monitor and mitigate those effects.

“We are satisfied that the EA Certificate conditions and other regulatory requirements, particularly under the Environmental Management Act, will effectively manage air emissions,” the report states.

Other considerations will be the need by the company to offset any impacts to fish habitat, and for the company to deal with the wake from their tankers and take steps to avoid collisions with marine mammals.

LNG Canada issued a statement from its CEO Andy Calitz shortly after the announcement.

“We have made significant progress to advance our project over the past year,” said Calitz.  “Receiving both provincial and federal approval of our Environmental Assessment is a critical milestone on our path to making a final investment decision. We could not have achieved this without input from the local community of Kitimat and First Nations, and we appreciate the local knowledge they shared with us.”

He added in the statement, “LNG Canada proposes to have one of the lowest levels of CO2 emissions of any LNG export facility in the world. The project will supply clean burning natural gas to help reduce greenhouse gas and other emissions in countries that currently burn more carbon intensive sources of energy for electricity production. Working with the community and First Nations we continue to find opportunities to mitigate environmental effects and enhance benefits.”

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Image courtesy CDC
Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Kitamaat Village

Haisla Nation Council said there are two confirmed cases they are aware of at this time

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
52 positive COVID-19 cases now associated with LNG Canada site outbreak

Eight cases still active, 44 considered recovered

The Kitimat River in July. (Clare Rayment photo)
Good News, Kitimat!

Bringing some local good news to your week

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

An RCMP officer confers with military rescuers outside their Cormorant helicopter near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
Good Samaritan helped Kootenay police nab, rescue suspect which drew armed forces response

Midway RCMP said a Good Samaritan helped track the suspect, then brought the arresting officer dry socks

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

(Needpix.com)
Pandemic has ‘exacerbated’ concerns for B.C. children and youth with special needs: report

Pandemic worsened an already patchwork system, representative says

Most Read