- US company Wespac Midstream wants to build an LNG terminal on the Fraser River in Delta so Fortis can export LNG to Hawaii. Last fall Wespac delivered a report to government proposing the scope of its environmental assessment (EA) of the project. More than 500 people submitted comments to government to demand that key concerns be addressed in the EA. Now we wait for government to respond. Learn more about the risks posed by this project below and at the menu tabs above.
- Hawaii will soon decide if LNG is a useful addition to the state’s energy mix or a harmful distraction on the journey to a 100 percent renewable future. Receive updates and notice of opportunity for public input on this decision by clicking here. Learn about the impacts LNG exports to Hawaii would pose to the BC environment and our shared climate in the infographic at right and in this op-ed in the Honolulu Star Advertiser.
Further detail here.
1. The Big Picture: Wespac + Fortis = massive development in Delta
Natural gas will need to be shipped to Metro Vancouver, cooled and condensed by FortisBC before it is exported as LNG by Wespac. That will require further expansion at FortisBC’s Delta LNG facility, new power lines over fertile farmland, and possibly even a new or expanded natural gas pipeline.
None of this is mentioned in Wespac’s plan for the EA. Rather than assessing impacts from this development in a piecemeal fashion, government should require that the Wespac-Fortis project be reviewed as one.
2. Local Impacts: accidents, terrorism, property values
Impacts from an accident, malfunction or terrorist attack on an LNG terminal or tanker could be catastrophic. The EA needs a stand alone, comprehensive assessment of all safety risks — including risk of deliberate destruction — and a clear disaster response plan. Wespac’s proposal for the EA only considers accidents and malfunctions, and does that in a piecemeal fashion.
Further, as part of the EA, Wespac should explicitly assess the suitability of the proposed terminal location according to existing international standards, and conduct a marine route hazard assessment equivalent to those required by the US Coast Guard.
Finally, Wespac wants to run LNG tankers down the Fraser River, within 200m of waterfront residential developments in Richmond, but says there is no need to assess project impacts on property values. This is clearly wrong.
3. Upstream Impacts: drilling, fracking, methane leaks
Exporting LNG down the Fraser will mean more natural gas wells drilled in NE BC, more fracking, and more escaping methane – a powerful greenhouse gas – during processing. It will take an enormous amount of electricity to cool and condense that natural gas for export. Will that electricity be generated by burning yet more natural gas, or by building new dams like Site C? None of these issues are addressed in Wespac’s EA outline. They should be.
4. Downstream Impacts: killer whales and climate change
Wespac says that once LNG is loaded onto ocean going vessels it’s not their responsibility. What about the impact of increased vessel traffic in the Salish Sea on endangered killer whales? What about the climate impact of exporting and burning yet more fossil fuels? Prior to approval, all impacts that would be generated by the project must be addressed in the EA.