The Governing Council of Metlakalta First Nation, British Columbia, and Pacific NorthWest LNG have signed a term sheet for an Impact Benefit Agreement for the proposed LNG facility at Lelu Island.
The term sheet identifies benefits that will be provided to Metlakatla over a 40 year period, should the project proceed, as well as specific commitments from the company to mitigate environmental effects associated with the project.
Metlakatla Governing Council reached agreement with Pacific Northwest LNG, after an intensive negotiation between the company, the Province of British Columbia, and Metlakatla’s Development Corporation and Stewardship Office to resolve outstanding environmental and economic concerns.
“We have weighed the potential benefits, with the impacts of the terminal proposed for Lelu Island and have worked to negotiate the best agreement for Metlakatla,” said Chief Harold Leighton.
Metlakatla will receive an initial payment for signing the term sheet and providing a letter of support for the project. While the specific terms of the agreement remain confidential, it includes:
- Access to employment;
- Training and capacity development;
- Financing for cultural support;
- Lump sum annual payments based on the number of LNG trains in operation; and
- Metlakatla participation in ongoing environmental monitoring.
Chief Leighton said the agreement represents a significant opportunity for the Metlakatla membership, and will improve the social and economic conditions in his community.
Metlakatla has reached separate agreements with the company, the Province and Canada that commit the parties to continue to work on resolving issues regarding disposal at sea, fish and fish habitat, and the cumulative effects of development in the territory.
Chief Leighton also stated that their Stewardship Office entered into negotiations with specific social and environmental concerns, and that Pacific NorthWest LNG has been responsive to these concerns.
“Metlakatla has worked on the environmental assessment of this project from the beginning, and we will continue to hold Pacific NorthWest LNG to a high standard of environmental care,” said Ross Wilson, Director of Metlakatla’s Stewardship Program.“We have ensured they are committed to working with us on our outstanding issues.”
Metlakatla First Nation is located on the Northwest Coast of British Columbia, approximately 7 km west of Prince Rupert.