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HomeNewsProvince green lights environmental assessment certificate for Vopak Pacific Canada project

Province green lights environmental assessment certificate for Vopak Pacific Canada project

The province has issued an environmental assessment certificate to Vopak Development Corporation for its Vopak Pacific Canada Project.

The project would be located on federal lands within federal jurisdiction, according to a news release. 

It added that the provincial environmental assessment certificate contains required conditions regarding matters within provincial jurisdiction, if the federal government determines the project can proceed. 

This project is a proposed new bulk storage facility for liquified petroleum gas, methanol, light diesel and/ or gasoline on Ridley Island near Prince Rupert.

It would be located in the territories of Gitga’at, Gitxaala, Kitselas, Kitsumkalum, Metlakatla and Lax Kw’alaams Nations. 

According to the news release, the project would include unloading platforms for bulk liquid gas transported to the facility on the existing rail loop on Ridley Island and a docking berth on a new offshore jetty for exporting liquid gas.

The products would be transported to the facility from across Western Canada via existing Canadian National railway lines. 

The approval of the certificate comes with specific conditions and design parameters, if the project moves ahead including: 

  • Developing a greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan
  • Working with the local community and First Nations to address potential adverse effects on community services, infrastructure and well-being
  • Participating in initiatives at the request of the Province to manage potential cumulative effects of this and other projects in the area. 

Meanwhile, B.C. Ministers have heard by First Nations and the public about concerns like rail transport and marine shipping which fall under federal jurisdiction.

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman and Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Bruce Ralston have written to federal regulators recommending concerns regarding the impacts of potential spills, increased rail and marine traffic be addressed in the parallel federal review process that is currently underway or through other government actions.

Additionally, a range of mitigation measures have been proposed by federal regulators to address impacts of the project. 

The impacts cover, air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, noise, visual quality, ambient light, marine and land resources, soils and terrain, freshwater fish, fish habitat, marine use and navigation, heritage and archaeology and human health. 

The news release added that the Environmental Assessment Office consulted with local First Nations regarding the potential impacts of the project on Indigenous rights and title. 

It is estimated that during construction approximately 250 full- time jobs will be added across the province with 70 local to the site and during operations there will be the creation of 39 direct jobs annually in the province with 30 local to the site. 

The provincial environmental assessment of the project began in 2018 and was conducted under the 2002 Environmental Assessment Act. 

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