Pacific NorthWest LNG says Flora Bank wouldn’t be harmed by LNG development

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Pacific NorthWest LNG concluded that Flora Bank is ‘resilient’ and wouldn’t be harmed in the event that LNG is produced on Lelu Island — according to the Globe and Mail.

Led by Malaysia’s Petronas, Pacific NorthWest LNG wants to build an $11.4 billion export terminal on Lelu Island.

In the 36-page summary of the consortium’s findings,  it stated technical work completed indicates that ‘the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects on fish and fish habitat.’

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The findings contrast sharply with research carried out by the aboriginal-backed Skeena Fisheries Commission, which is sounding the alarm about significant risks to Flora Bank.

Visible at low tide, Flora Bank contains eelgrass that nurtures juvenile salmon in the Skeena River estuary near Prince Rupert. And replacing that eelgrass is not as easy as it sounds, according to a briefing document by Charmaine Carr-Harris of the Skeena Fisheries Commission and biologist Jonathan Moore from last month.

“Based on our data, the proposed destruction of eelgrass habitat by PNW LNG poses huge risks to salmon populations,” the document stated. “Furthermore, our research makes it clear that planting eelgrass elsewhere will almost certainly fail to mitigate these impacts.”

Pacific NorthWest LNG said Tuesday that it remains committed to science, noting research from all the way to last spring.

“The latest submission to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is the culmination of tens of thousands of hours of scientific research over the past eight months to address and answer questions posed by the regulator,” said Senior Advisor of Corporate Affairs for the consortium, Spencer Sproule.

“Throughout this process, PNW LNG has worked constructively with interested area First Nations, various government agencies and stakeholders to build a science-based report.”

The Lax Kw’alaams Band Council has expressed its opposition to the project, with concerns about the impact it will have on the environment.

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Industry analysts say of 20 LNG proposals on the table, might come to fruition — as the province is facing fierce global competition and weak LNG prices in Asia.

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