British Columbia

Squamish Woodfibre LNG project gets federal environmental approval

The federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change has approved the environmental assessment of a controversial LNG project near Squamish, B.C.

Company says the project will create about 100 jobs a year for 25 years

A preliminary project configuration shows the proposed Woodfibre LNG plant, which would be in a boat-access-only area seven kilometres from downtown Squamish, B.C. (Woodfibre LNG)

The federal minister of environment and climate change has approved the environmental assessment of a controversial LNG project near Squamish, B.C.

The Squamish mayor and residents of the coastal town have repeatedly voiced their concerns and opposition to the proposed Woodfibre LNG project, which is expected to produce and export up to 2.1 million tonnes of LNG per year.

"The Woodfibre LNG Project underwent a thorough, science-based environmental assessment that considered public and indigenous input and views," said Minister Catherine McKenna in a written statement.

"The process benefited from scientific and technical expertise, indigenous traditional knowledge and constructive feedback that helped to inform my decision."

The decision includes a lengthy list of legally-binding conditions, including consultation with aboriginal groups, mitigating the impact on fish habitat and migratory birds, and implementing noise and air emission reduction measures. 

The project cleared its first hurdle last October, when it was granted an environmental assessment certificate by the B.C. government.

That certificate includes 25 conditions meant to mitigate the negative impacts construction and operation of the plant will have on things like marine life and water quality. 

The company proposing the project says the Woodfibre LNG plant will create more than 650 jobs per year during the construction phase, and about 100 full-time jobs for more than 25 years.