Members of the Tsawwassen First Nation rejected plans for an LNG terminal on their lands near the ferry terminal 74-65 yesterday. “As a consequence of this result, TFN will not be moving forward with any additional discussion regarding this proposed LNG concept,” notes a media advisory issued by the band.
The plan in question was for an LNG plant, situated on an 80-acre waterfront plot designated for industrial use, that would have produced 3-5 million tonnes a year for export.
The vote saw just shy of a 50% turnout from TFN members, including some from off-reserve. Said Chief Bryce Williams on the result:
[quote]With today’s vote, TFN Members have made the decision that the proposed LNG concept on Tsawwassen Lands is not one they support, and therefore we will not be pursuing it any further.[/quote]
In his comments on CBC radio this morning, Chief Williams acknowledged that concerns over where the gas for LNG would come from and its impacts on northeast BC through the fracking process were a key factor in the community’s decision to turn down the plant.
The project would also have meant considerable noise and light pollution for the community, a flare stack several hundred meters high with the possibility of acid rain affecting local waters, shellfish, and agriculture, and the likely discharging of heated, chlorinated water into the surrounding marine environment. While electric power for the enormously energy-intensive cooling process had been floated by proponent FortisBC, the possibility of gas-fired generation to cut costs would have also meant significant air pollution for residents already surrounded by a coal port and shipping terminal, a ferry terminal, rail yards and trains.
The TFN join the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation, in northwest BC, who rejected an offer of $1.15 Billion in economic benefits in exchange for supporting an LNG terminal near Prince Rupert.