Canada: Gitga’at First Nation Concerned about Environmental Impacts of LNG Plants

Gitga'at First Nation Concerned About Environmental Impacts of LNG Plants

A new report by the David Suzuki Foundation, “The Cost of Exporting Liquid Natural Gas”, has reinforced the views of the Gitga’at First Nation that plans to export LNG from the proposed Kitimat plants through the traditional territory of the Gitga’at could have human health impacts on local air sheds.

The nation also has serious concerns about greenhouse gas emissions associated with burning natural gas to generate electricity for the plants.

“Our community lives downstream from the proposed LNG plants,” said Arnold Clifton, Chief Councillor of the Gitga’at First Nation. “The prevailing winds bring pollutants from Kitimat down the Douglas Channel into our territory. We are concerned that our people will suffer if these plants are allowed to burn natural gas to power the liquefaction process.”

The report by the David Suzuki Foundation finds that the proposed LNG plants would require 14,500 GWh of electricity to operate, an amount that would require burning between 145 and 290 billion cubic feet of natural gas every year.

Natural gas combustion is associated with the production of particulate matter, nitrogen oxide (a contributor to acid rain) and carbon dioxide and methane – potent greenhouse gases. These emissions could worsen when combined with emissions from tankers waiting at port in Kitimat.

Current LNG proposals could bring upwards of 1000 tanker trips per year through Gitga’at traditional territory.

“Our nation needs time to study and consult on these potential environmental and human health impacts,” said Clifton. “We are also concerned about climate change and how the BC government’s promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will be affected by these projects.”

“We’re about conservation,” said Councillor Cameron Hill, “and any climate change will have an impact on the ocean’s temperature and marine life.”

The David Suzuki Foundation report finds that LNG export will make BC’s targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions all but impossible, and powering LNG plants using natural gas will add another 12% of GHG emissions to BC’s current inventory.

LNG World News Staff, December 03, 2012; Image: Kitimat LNG