Editor’s note: This is a letter to Josh Handysides, project assessment manager, and Dan Motisca, project assessment officer at the B.C. Environmental Assessment Officer. It was copied to The Chief for publication.
We are writing to you to express our concerns about the Fortis B.C. gas pipeline project which is proposed to run through the town of Squamish to its final destination at the Woodfibre site.
It is very disappointing that the review and the submission period were scheduled just before Christmas, the busiest time of the year for most Canadians. As well, it seems very unfair to the public that a project of this magnitude and impact were given such a short time for reviewing and commenting on the information. Nevertheless, we have reviewed the proponent’s submissions and respectfully submit our comments.
We object to the Eagle Mountain Woodfibre Gas Pipeline Project for a number of specific reasons as outlined below.
• The proposed pipeline parallels the existing pipeline that runs through the middle of Squamish towards the Squamish River. However, the proponent proposes to run a spur north to a compressor station to be located almost adjacent to residential properties. Locating this large and noisy turbine plant (9,700-horsepower) so close to private dwellings is unacceptable.
• It would make far more sense to locate the compressor station either east of Squamish before the pipeline enters a residential area or adjacent to the pipeline as far west as possible, preferably on the west side of the Squamish River.
• In this submission the proponent has provided a minimal amount of information on air emissions and the disposal of wastewater both from the compressor stations and the Woodfibre compressor/process plant, making it difficult to provide specific comments.
• No details are provided on the increase in large ship traffic in the narrow shipping channels of Howe Sound and the impact of untreated wastewater (boat sewage) and ballast water discharged into Howe Sound at a time when Howe Sound is just showing signs of restoration of wildlife after many decades of industrial abuse. As a result, Howe Sound is being enjoyed by the residents of many small communities, boaters, windsurfers and cottagers along its shores. It would be irresponsible to allow untreated discharges again.
For these reasons, we urge you, your colleagues and the Ministry of the Environment to reject the subject proposal for the Eagle Mountain Woodfibre Gas Pipeline and LNG plant as it is currently envisaged.
Gerd and David Moore