KITIMAT - The Province will fund a $650,000 scientific study to help inform regulatory and policy development for future industrial activity in the Kitimat area. The goal is to ensure the potential impacts from industrial air emissions are clearly understood prior to new projects being approved and in operation.
The Kitimat Airshed Impact Assessment Project will look at the cumulative effects of existing and proposed industrial air emissions in the airshed. These include emissions from: an existing aluminium smelter, three proposed LNG terminals, a proposed oil refinery, a crude-oil export facility, and gas-turbine-powered electrical generation facilities. The study will focus on sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions from these facilities.
The study will assess the impact of emissions through a number of scenarios, including their potential effects on water and soil, as well as on vegetation and human health from direct exposure.
A Request for Proposals to conduct the study will be issued for the work and the successful proponent will be required to complete the study and submit a final report to government by March 31, 2014. Conclusions from the study will be used to inform environmental-assessment work and regulatory decisions for LNG and other industrial proponents in Kitimat and other airsheds where clusters of LNG export facilities are being proposed.
The Province has also hired a contractor to begin field work next week, which includes collecting surface water and soil samples. The data collected will be made available to the successful proponent chosen to complete the airshed study so they can use it to analyze and predict potential environmental impacts of the emissions.
Mary Polak, Minister of Environment -
"Our government is committed to protecting both public health and the environment, and we want to ensure emissions from any industrial development, including LNG, will remain within what the Kitimat airshed can safely accommodate. We are committed to balancing the need for resource development with environmental protection. This study will help us guide our approach and achieve this balance."
Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development -
"British Columbia is an environmental leader and we are taking the steps necessary to keep that title. This study will ensure our airshed plan for Kitimat is comprehensive, so the quality of life in the area is upheld while jobs and economic prospects increase as a result of LNG and industrial development."
BC Newsroom - Ministry of Environment: http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/ministries/environment-1
Ministry of Environment