A flotilla of several dozen boats has gathered in Howe Sound to protest a proposed LNG export terminal.
Organizer Eoin Finn says protestors are worried the proposed “Woodfibre” plant will undo decades of work cleaning the waters up.
“It’s recovering from the ravages of the past industrialization of industrialization. The Marine life is returning, we have orcas, dolphins, and for the first time in living memory whales in the sound. We’ve kind of been there done that, and the residents around the sound are not keen on this development.”
Finn says the province has not listened to overwhelming opposition to the project.
And he says there are major safety concerns with having LNG tankers so close to urban areas.
The project was due to wrap its environmental assessment this month — but has paused the process to address a list of conditions from local first nations.
But the company behind the LNG plant says those safety concerns are overblown.
Woodfibre LNG’s Jennifer Siddon says in 50 years of operation — there has never been a major LNG accident.
“A lot of people may not know that Boston Harbour has a facility well within where people live and work and they’ve been safely operating for years. Another great example is in Rotterdam, and they have a very busy port and they’ve safely been operating L-N-G for years as well.”
Siddon with Woodfibre says the company is working to improve fish habitat in the sound — and concerns about using seawater to cool the plant are overstated.
“We have done some detailed studies, and we’ll continue to do studies, but the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, through the environmental assessment process, have let us know that at this point they have no concerns about us affecting the population of herring in howe sound with our seawater cooling system.”
Siddon says LNG has a 50 year strong safety record.
Photo credit Nadia Stewart- Global BC