FFAW-Unifor Cautiously Optimistic About Minister’s Decision for LNG Project
Though not fully rejected, FFAW-Unifor is cautiously optimistic about Minister Bernard Davis’ decision on February 7th that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required to determine if the natural gas export project proposed by Newfoundland LNG Ltd. may have significant environmental, social, and economic impacts.
The project requires a centralized offshore gas hub, pipeline, natural gas liquefaction facilities, and export terminal at Grassy Point, Placentia Bay. FFAW had immediate concerns for the 600-kilometer pipeline that would be installed from Placentia Bay into the Jeanne d’Arc Basin and are confident that the EIS and additional project information requested by the Department will evidence the risk of irreparable damage to marine habitat and loss of fishing grounds.
FFAW was critical about the project when the terminal was first proposed for Placentia Bay in 2006. Since that time, the area has become the most industrialized and trafficked bay in Newfoundland and Labrador with rising navigational and safety challenges due to increased vessel traffic, and the ever-present threat of an oil spill, which the fishing industry has yet to receive any satisfactory assurance that it will be able to adapt and/or recover from.
The development of the Grand Banks has already directly resulted in significant loss of traditional fishing grounds for inshore harvesters and the project will intensify the risks associated with further drilling and production activities, wells, cable linkages, and installation of the pipeline in seabed. The growth of one industry must not come at the expense of another, and there is a broad scope of risks and impacts for the Minister to consider very closely.
FFAW-Unifor is encouraging members to express their concerns for the drafted guidelines.
Public comments may be forwarded to: EAProjectComments@gov.nl.ca