In just under 3 days, 490 people submitted comments about Wespac Tilbury’s stealth LNG export terminal through this website to the BC Environmental Assessment Office!

Key Concerns about Wespac’s stealth LNG export terminal to the BC EAO:

1. This is not just a jetty in the river — it’s a stealth LNG export terminal.

This is fossil-fuel infrastructure which, if built, will allow the expansion of the Tilbury facility to export 3.5 megatonnes of LNG, a flammable fossil fuel with a devastating climate impact over eighty times worse than CO 2 . Tilbury LNG is a peak-shaving plant purpose-built to serve the winter-time needs of customers in Metro Vancouver, not to engage in exporting dangerous fracked gas.

2. Canada lacks world class LNG safety regulations.

The proposed location is in Canada’s most important salmon river, opposite a storage terminal for flammable jet fuel, in BC’s prime earthquake-liquefaction zone, and in the path of a narrow commercial and recreational shipping lane of freighters, tugs, barges and aircraft. The Society of International Gas Terminal and Tanker Operations, strongly recommends against locating LNG facilities in such narrow, crowded waterways. Because of such risks, U.S.  regulations prevent LNG plants and shipping routes from locating within 3.5 km. of populated areas. IN 2016, a fire in nearby Burns bog caused the evacuation of the Tilbury LNG plant. Fighting an LNG fire requires responders equipped with special foam retardant and a well-practiced emergency response plan to evacuate local residents and businesses in the event of a fire. Just such an event happened in 2014 at an LNG plant in Oregon.

3. LNG tankers in the narrow, busy Fraser River?

Bad idea.

Tankers and barges loading LNG at the jetty would have to be custom-built to pass over the 11.5m draught limitation of the Massey tunnel. Those 300-meter long tankers, with 60,000 tonnes of highly-flammable LNG aboard, would have to sail past highly-populated areas of Richmond, Delta and Steveston. The risks and consequences of collisions, groundings and release of cargo are significant, as are the risks of turning 300-meter long laden tankers around in the narrow, fast-flowing river channel at Tilbury. SIGTTO, the Society of International Gas Terminal and Tanker Operations, recommends a turning radius of 2-3 times the ship’s length (600-900m.) – impossible at Tilbury.

4. LNG is methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

Fracking, pipelining and liquefying methane gas into LNG results in
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions at least on par with coal and oil. The climate
disruption effects of fossil fuels – sea-level rise (crucial for Delta and Richmond), ocean
acidification and increases in floods, wildfires and violent storms – are hugely
concerning to residents of the Lower Mainland. Yet another LNG plant would be utterly
incompatible with BC’s plans to fight climate change, with the GHG reduction objectives
of BC’s climate plan (CleanBC) and with Canada’s international commitments to reduce
GHG emissions 80% by 2050. It is 2019, and we are phasing out fossil fuel use in our
economy.

3. LNG tankers in the narrow, busy Fraser River?

Bad idea.

Tankers and barges loading LNG at the jetty would have to be custom-built to pass over the 11.5m draught limitation of the Massey tunnel. Those 300-meter long tankers, with 60,000 tonnes of highly-flammable LNG aboard, would have to sail past highly-populated areas of Richmond, Delta and Steveston. The risks and consequences of collisions, groundings and release of cargo are significant, as are the risks of turning 300-meter long laden tankers around in the narrow, fast-flowing river channel at Tilbury. SIGTTO, the Society of International Gas Terminal and Tanker Operations, recommends a turning radius of 2-3 times the ship’s length (600-900m.) – impossible at Tilbury.

4. LNG is methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

Fracking, pipelining and liquefying methane gas into LNG results in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions at least on par with coal and oil. The climate disruption effects of fossil fuels – sea-level rise (crucial for Delta and Richmond), ocean acidification and increases in floods, wildfires and violent storms – are hugely concerning to residents of the Lower Mainland. Yet another LNG plant would be utterly incompatible with BC’s plans to fight climate change, with the GHG reduction objectives of BC’s climate plan (CleanBC) and with Canada’s international commitments to reduce
GHG emissions 80% by 2050. It is 2019, and we are phasing out fossil fuel use in our economy.

5. BC’s environmental assessment process is seriously flawed.

The BC Environmental Assessment Process is seriously flawed and in the pocket of industry. Its starting assumption is that each project proposal will be approved subject to actions that could mitigate the worst of the environmental effects. It provides no means of challenging, via cross-examination, proponent-supplied “science” , instead relying almost exclusively and unquestioningly on the findings of proponent-paid professionals. “Open Houses” in affected communities are poorly advertised and provide no opportunity to question proponents. Comment periods are far too short to allow the public time to examine the thousands of pages of boiler-plate proponent submissions. The process largely ignores the cumulative effects of multiple projects in the same area, and, unlike its U.S. counterpart, does not factor the social and economic disruptions the project will cause in local communities. Community and provincial benefits assessments focus almost exclusively on short-term employment, based on an economic model that wildly overestimates the effects of resource-based projects.

6. Economic benefits are overstated, no new jobs created.

The social and economic benefits of the project for Delta/Richmond, Metro Vancouver and BC are generally small and are poorly outlined in the proposal. The project would employ only 7 people when in full operation and “as these positions will be filled by existing employees at the Tilbury LNG Plant, the Project will not create new employment opportunities and therefore not affect labour market balance.” Wespac’s business purpose is vague – it suggests that the LNG product could be sold as bunker fuel to unnamed major ports along the West Coast or exported to unknown Asian markets or even sold to “other potential customers.” It uses the BC Input-Output Model (BCIOM) to analyze and predict project-related effects on direct, as well as indirect employment, labour income and government taxation revenues. That model was discredited after it predicted, in 2013, a BC LNG industry employing 100,000 people, generating $100 billion in LNG revenues to Government and resulting in a “debt-free
BC,” none of which results actually transpired.

5. BC’s environmental assessment process is seriously flawed.

The BC Environmental Assessment Process is seriously flawed and in the pocket of industry. Its starting assumption is that each project proposal will be approved subject to actions that could mitigate the worst of the environmental effects. It provides no means of challenging, via cross-examination, proponent-supplied “science” , instead relying almost exclusively and unquestioningly on the findings of proponent-paid professionals. “Open Houses” in affected communities are poorly advertised and provide no opportunity to question proponents. Comment periods are far too short to allow the public time to examine the thousands of pages of boiler-plate proponent submissions. The process largely ignores the cumulative effects of multiple projects in the same area, and, unlike its U.S. counterpart, does not factor the social and economic disruptions the project will cause in local communities. Community and provincial benefits assessments focus almost exclusively on short-term employment, based on an economic model that wildly overestimates the effects of resource-based projects.

6. Economic benefits are overstated, no new jobs created.

The social and economic benefits of the project for Delta/Richmond, Metro Vancouver and BC are generally small and are poorly outlined in the proposal. The project would employ only 7 people when in full operation and “as these positions will be filled by existing employees at the Tilbury LNG Plant, the Project will not create new employment opportunities and therefore not affect labour market balance.” Wespac’s business purpose is vague – it suggests that the LNG product could be sold as bunker fuel to unnamed major ports along the West Coast or exported to unknown Asian markets or even sold to “other potential customers.” It uses the BC Input-Output Model (BCIOM) to analyze and predict project-related effects on direct, as well as indirect employment, labour income and government taxation revenues. That model was discredited after it predicted, in 2013, a BC LNG industry employing 100,000 people, generating $100 billion in LNG revenues to Government and resulting in a “debt-free
BC,” none of which results actually transpired.

7. Salish Sea orcas don’t need the added stress of boat traffic.

The population of Southern Resident Killer Whales in the Salish Sea is already at near-extinction levels. Adding LNG tanker, tug and barge traffic will only add to the stresses on the remaining orca pods.

8. The public should not subsidize fossil fuel exports.

Successive provincial and Federal Governments have showered the well-heeled, foreign-owned LNG industry with taxpayer-funded subsidies. These include cheap electricity, exemption from carbon tax increases on GHG emissions, PST and GST exemptions and zero LNG taxes. Using taxpayer’s money for these subsidies is grossly unfair to citizens struggling to cope with housing, food and transportation cost increases.

7. Salish Sea orcas don’t need the added stress of boat traffic.

The population of Southern Resident Killer Whales in the Salish Sea is already at near-extinction levels. Adding LNG tanker, tug and barge traffic will only add to the stresses on the remaining orca pods.

8. The public should not subsidize fossil fuel exports.

Successive provincial and Federal Governments have showered the well-heeled, foreign-owned LNG industry with taxpayer-funded subsidies. These include cheap electricity, exemption from carbon tax increases on GHG emissions, PST and GST exemptions and zero LNG taxes. Using taxpayer’s money for these subsidies is grossly unfair to citizens struggling to cope with housing, food and transportation cost increases.

9. Fortis BC should focus on serving the BC public, not foreign markets.

FortisBC is a provincially-regulated utility guaranteed a 7-8% return on its investment in infrastructure that benefits BC customers. This jetty and LNG plant expansion are exclusively intended for export and do not at all serve BC customers. Fortis has not included details of the LNG plant expansion linked to Wespac’s jetty proposal – an inclusion which would allow citizens and authorities a clear view of the cumulative effects of these related projects. Fortis’ most recent capital plan, communicated earlier this month to its shareholders, makes no mention of this project.

10. An expanded LNG terminal will need electricity, meaning transmission lines on farm land.

Liquefying and storing LNG requires huge amounts of electrical power. An expanded Tilbury plant would need electricity supply from two sub-stations and require building unsightly power lines and pylons across ALR farmlands in Richmond and Delta.

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