District of Squamish officials have announced the creation of a community committee for the Woodfibre LNG project. The committee is being created to objectively assess the proposed project and provide input to both the project proponents and the District.
“Economic development has been this Council’s number one priority, and there is currently great momentum with some exciting opportunities knocking at our door,” says District of Squamish Mayor Rob Kirkham. “To maximize these opportunities for the benefit of our community we need to evaluate their long-term sustainability and understand how they fit into Squamish’s vision for a healthy, diversified economy. This committee will help us analyze the Woodfibre LNG project and conduct some in-depth investigation into some of the areas of concern that have been raised.”
The committee’s mandate is twofold. It will provide input to help inform the District’s response during the provincial environmental application review phase of the project. The committee will also provide feedback directly to the project proponents on certain technical matters that could mitigate impacts or enhance the project in the eyes of the community. Such technical matters include decisions that will be made on: water- compared to air-cooling technology, electric- compared to gas-fueled, land- compared to water-based plant structures, environmental, safety and community impacts.
“There is a very real opportunity to influence the decisions that Woodfibre LNG is currently making – decisions that may lessen the perceived or real impacts on the community and the environment,” continues Kirkham.
The committee will be comprised of one member of each of the following: Squamish Nation, Squamish Chamber of Commerce, Squamish Terminals, tourism groups, cultural groups, environmental groups and six members at large. A member of Council and a member of District staff will join the committee as ex-officio members.
Press Release, April 17, 2014; Image: Woodfibre LNG