Details of the 25 conditions that must be met in order for Squamish Nation to support the Woodfibre LNG proposal have been leaked to The Squamish Chief.
“Bottom line. If our lands and waters are not protected, liquefied natural gas plants or other industrial operations simply won’t get built. Period,” hereditary Chief Ian Campbell said in the report, which was leaked on Tuesday.
Five of the Nation’s conditions were released June 27.
The additional 20 revealed in the leaked report include, among others:
• No fueling of LNG tankers in Squamish territory.
• No barges in the Wildlife Management Area.
• Routing the pipeline to avoid impact on cultural sites: Monmouth Creek, Stawamus Creek and Indian River. For certainty, in order to minimize disturbance to the cultural sites, FortisBC must come to agreement with the Squamish Nation on a reasonable buffer area around each of these cultural sites.
• Not authorizing the transportation of oil through the FortisBC pipeline.
• Government-to-government discussions regarding a marine use planning agreement to address cumulative impacts of industry in the Howe Sound area.
• Working with the Squamish Nation to develop on Emergency Response Plan for the Squamish Valley area.
• Making certain mitigation measures proposed in its Environmental Assessment Application that are considered voluntary measures legally binding under a Squamish Nation Environmental Certificate.
• No future expansion of the Woodfibre LNG plant or pipeline without Squamish Nation approval.
If the first 24 conditions are met, the 25th condition is: entering into an economic benefits agreement with the Nation that will be reflective of the Squamish Nation’s aboriginal rights and title interests.
Two conditions are centered on restoring Mill Creek area to a “green zone” and formal recognition that the LNG project is located on the former village of Swiy’a’at within the zone and locating other water sources during critical stream flow periods, if necessary. Other conditions included funding a Squamish Nation marine-use plan to help address cumulative impacts of industrial projects on the marine environment in Howe Sound and funding and partnering with Squamish Nation to co-manage environmental management programs.
“We will need time to review Squamish Nation’s conditions and will take the next few days to analyze their concerns and respond,” Byng Giraud, vice-president of corporate affairs for Woodfibre LNG, said on Tuesday.
“That being said, WLNG voluntarily entered into the new Squamish Nation environmental assessment process and we respect its outcomes. We knew that entering into this process would result in some form of conditions, and we are fully prepared to do our best to comply.”
FortisBC spokesman Trevor Boudreau said the company respects the Squamish Nation’s independent process. He noted the Nation council has said it will make a decision on the Fortis expansion project once its process is complete.
“In the meantime, we’ll continue to engage with the Nation on the issues and concerns it’s raised in the review that relate to our proposed expansion project,” said Boudreau.
On June 27 the Nation released its top five conditions:
• Insurance coverage or a bond to cover risks of personal loss and injury costs for Squamish Nation members.
• More information on the Woodfibre LNG seawater cooling discharge system.
• The FortisBC pipeline avoiding the Skwelwil’em Wildlife Management Area.
• The FortisBC compressor station being relocated to a location that poses no risk to Squamish members.
• Access for Nation members through the Controlled Access Zone of the project.
Days after the Squamish Nation laid out its top five conditions, and citing the need for more time to review the Nation’s conditions, Woodfibre LNG and FortisBC representatives asked for and were granted temporary suspensions of their Environmental Assessment review periods.
The decision of Squamish Nation chiefs and council is expected by the end of July.
Note: This story has been updated since it was first posted to include comments from the proponents.