The federal government has conditionally approved the Pacific NorthWest liquefied natural gas project in British Columbia with 190 legally binding conditions.
Click here to review the 190 conditions. The conditions cover everything from wetland management, the quality of freshwater fish and fish habitat, marine fish and mammals, migratory birds, human health, concerns over cultural heritage sites and long-term environmental monitoring.
The project, backed by Malaysian-owned energy giant Petronas, would move natural gas from B.C.’s northeast via a TransCanada pipeline to a terminal on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert for export to Asia.
Petronas initially said it would proceed with the project if the federal government gave its approval, but now the company says it will conduct a “total review” of the project before making a final investment decision.
Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said the approval decision was taken following extensive studies on the project’s environmental impact, science and after consultations with First Nations. The minister said the investment was worth $11 billion and would be one of Canada’s largest resource development projects.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) released a draft report in February that said the project would result in roughly 6.5 to 8.7 megatonnes of GHG pollution each year, a marked increase in emissions both at the provincial (8.5 per cent) and national (0.75 per cent) level.
The agency has said the project “would be one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters in Canada.” Since that draft report, the agency has revised its estimate down closer to the 5.0 megatonne level, or about the equivalent of one million new cars on Canadian roads each year.