In the first step toward building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on British Columbia’s coastline, the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) has approved a provincial environmental assessment certificate for Calgary-based Kitimat LNG Inc. to construct and operate a terminal in Bish Cove, about nine miles (14 kilometers) south of Kitimat.
The project, slated for start up in 2008, still requires approval by Canada’s Minister of Environment and will need the necessary provincial and federal permits before construction begins. The proposed facility is expected to cost about C$500 million. Storage facilities, regasification, send-out pipelines and a marine terminal are slated to be constructed (see Daily GPI, March 23).
EAO’s required Comprehensive Study Review was prepared by all of the affected Canadian stakeholders, including Haisla First Nation, and it found no “significant residual effects as a result of the project.” Kitimat LNG and the Haisla signed an agreement-in-principle for the terminal in December.
However, the provincial environmental certificate contains 243 commitments that Kitimat LNG must implement throughout the various phases of the project. Among other things, Kitimat LNG has to abide by all new emission reduction standards, include mitigation measures to protect the coastal tailed frog, provide spill response procedures to protect fish and fish habitat, conduct a habitat assessment to determine habitat loss, and conduct a marbled murrelet survey as part of Canada’s Coastal Waterbird Survey Program.
In December 2005, Kitimat LNG and the Haisla signed an agreement-in-principle to locate the terminal on Bish Indian Reserve No. 6, subject to it being confirmed as suitable in the environmental assessment. In April, Kitimat LNG and the Haisla signed an impacts and benefits agreement. The project is expected to bring 700 construction jobs and about 30 full-time positions.
More information on the environmental certificate may be found at www.eao.gov.bc.ca.
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