Government and industry are each taking a piecemeal approach to the flood of natural gas pipeline and LNG plant proposals in BC. They would prefer to see each proposal assessed individually as if each existed in a bubble, with no appraisal of cumulative effects. This approach is not surprising; it serves the interests of industry, as some of the cumulative effects would be beyond mitigation. Under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, there exists a framework for carrying out a Strategic Environmental Assessment that would evaluate the potential cumulative effects of multiple projects. The BC Environmental Assessment Act allows for the same at the discretion of the minister responsible.
So, what to do?
We have to ask that a Strategic Environmental Assessment be carried out. Fortunately, the Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition has developed an online letter that you can send to the federal and provincial minsters responsible. Click here to go to the letter on the SWCC site. Click here for a Strategic Environmental Assessment backgrounder.
If you would prefer to send your own e-mail requesting a Strategtic Environmental Assessment, click here for an outline to work from.