A close up picture of a cute Sea Lion swimming underwater. Picture taken in Pacific Ocean near Hornby Island, British Columbia, Canada.

Stop WoodFibre LNG

Howe Sound Waters at Risk Again

Howe Sound is an ecologically rich area just north of Vancouver, BC. Along with a diversity of marine life, it features ancient glass sponge reefs.

For nearly a century, the Sound was heavily polluted by a mining operation at Britannia Beach. In recent years it has been rehabilitated by decades of collaborative efforts from local municipalities, the Squamish Nation, environmental groups, and the provincial government.

Now the Sound is under threat again by a combination of climate change and the planned Woodfibre Liquid Natural Gas project. The Woodfibre project will consist of an LNG facility on the west side of Howe Sound along with a 50 km natural gas pipeline running from Coquitlam to the Woodfibre site.

Environmental Protections Weakened in 2023

The SCCA has been engaging in the government approvals process for the Woodfibre LNG project since 2016. We were deeply disappointed when environmental permits, with conditions, were approved by the federal government in 2018, and we have continued to track this project closely.

In 2023, the situation worsened when the Federal Government and BC Energy Regulator weakened protections even further.

Earlier this year, federal environment Minister, Steven Guilbeault amended the 2018 Federal Decision Statement to allow Woodfibre LNG to reduce the monitoring area for seals and sea lions by a shocking 98%. This is likely to cause grave harm to endangered sea lions in Átl'ka7tsem Howe Sound.  

The Minister also weakened the conditions related to water quality and sediment, allowing Woodfibre LNG to avoid responsibility for its pollution.

Then the BC Energy Regulator issued a "temporary" permit to allow FortisBC to discharge effluent into the Squamish River for 15 months to "enable construction timelines" for FortisBC's tunnel. 

Take Action

The SCCA is partnering with My Sea to Sky Society to challenge project approvals for the Woodfibre LNG Project.

Together, we’re seeking a judicial review of the federal government's decision to reduce the monitoring area for seals and sea lions and weaken the conditions related to water quality and sediment.

And we're filing a Notice of Appeal via the Environmental Appeal Board  (EAB) for British Columbia. We need to act quickly, as FortisBC has started construction to prep the tunnel entrance, and is already laying pipe to discharge effluent into the Squamish River.

There are multiple ways you can help protect Howe Sound:

Learn more about our efforts to protect Howe Sound by following the posts we share at the bottom of this page.

wlng-updates-2016-open-houses

Why Stopping Woodfibre LNG Matters

Woodfibre LNG will increase fracking, lock in climate pollution, put residents at risk, and threaten the recovery of Howe Sound.

Woodfibre LNG will increase fracking in Treaty 8 territories, with major impacts to water, climate, and human health.

LNG is composed almost exclusively of methane - a greenhouse gas that that causes much more damage in the short term than CO2. New LNG infrastructure will lock in extreme climate pollution for decades.

Maximum daily discharge during construction could reach 30,000 cubic meters — enough to fill 12 Olympic sized swimming pools. This effluent could contain heavy metals, dioxins and furans, total suspended solids, and pH exceeding Canadian guidelines required for protection of marine life.

A 9 kilometer pipeline tunnel will be bored under the Squamish Estuary, which is a Wildlife Management area! FortisBC will be using bentonite slurry to bore the tunnel; this substance can pollute soil and surface water. and can be deadly for fish due to increasing suspended sediments and levels of toxic heavy metals that can bioaccumulate.

Flaring at Woodfibre LNG could increase premature birth rates in local residents and kill birds.

Underwater noise, light pollution, and habitat destruction threaten herring, endangered Chinook salmon, and southern resident orcas.

Reducing the monitoring area for sea lions and seals from 7,322m to 125  during construction means that seals and sea lions can be exposed to underwater sound levels louder than shotgun blasts or rocket lift-offs. This can cause cause permanent hearing loss to these mammals.

Setting a Dangerous Precedent

Weakening environmental protection conditions so that a project is "economically feasible" will set a dangerous precedent for any project that wants to cut costs at the expense of the environment. We need to let the government know this is not an acceptable practice.

Updates on the Stop Woodfibre LNG Campaign

FortisBC’s Toxic Water Pollution in Átl’ḵa7tsem / Howe Sound

By Suzanne Senger | 22 May 2024

FortisBC will be moving forward with construction of a 14 foot wide, 9 km tunnel, causing toxic ecosystem consequences. Defend what you love, and help us stop destructive construction from Woodfibre LNG and FortisBC. Read more!

Challenging Woodfibre LNG and Fortis BC

By Suzanne Senger | 18 October 2023

The SCCA has partnered up with My Sea to Sky Society to challenge project approvals for the Woodfibre LNG Project.  Standing up for species at risk Earlier this year, federal environment Minister, Steven Guilbeault amended the 2018 Federal Decision Statement to allow Woodfibre LNG to reduce the monitoring area for seals and sea lions by […]

Don’t Let Woodfibre LNG Roll Back Decades of Cleanup in Howe Sound

By Alison Taylor | 10 July 2023

The SCCA is collaborating with My Sea To Sky to protect Howe Sound against environmental degradation from the Woodfibre LNG project and associated FortisBC pipeline. Woodfibre LNG has applied for a permit from the B.C. Energy Regulator (BCER) to discharge millions of cubic metres of toxic construction effluent into Átl’ḵa7tsem / Howe Sound. Late last […]

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