LETTER - Islanders bring MP up to date with safety information

Dear Editor,


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Thank you for the great coverage in last week’s paper about Bowen’s visit by our local Member of Parliament, Pam Goldsmith-Jones.

As mentioned in the article, I presented our conclusive findings in the form of a letter sent to Mr. Wilkinson, MP of North Vancouver about Herring spawn at the Woodfibre site and the damaging effects of the “once through cooling system” Woodfibre LNG wants to use. In the letter we provide evidence that Woodfibre LNG misrepresents Herring spawn information in it’s Application for an Environmental Assessment Certificate to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO), and the public.

At the meeting Goldsmith-Jones, was most surprised to learn about the lack of regulation and safety standards governing the transport of LNG. At our June 6th public meeting, Thomas Rafael shocked the audience with the truth about Transport Canada’s TERMPOL (Technical Review Process of Marine Systems and Transshipment Sites) process and its flaws. 

This review process is administered by Transport Canada that looks at tanker transport. In the case of Woodfibre LNG, because of its application for license before 2014 edition was in place at that time will be used, not the updated TERMPOL standards.

During a TERMPOL review navigational risks of shipping are considered. In the case of Woodfibre LNG, such risks would include spills from LNG tankers. LNG tankers are easily recognized by their 4 or 5 enormous spherical compartments. The U.S. Coast Guard considers the collapse of 3 compartments of a single tanker the worst-case scenario, Woodfibre LNG considers its worst case scenario to be all compartments (4 or 5) collapsing. [Please note that, Woodfibre LNG proposes to use floating storage of two 40 year old LNG tankers and, since the receiving tanker would directly dock next to them, an LNG spill at loading could increase the potential of collapsing units to a dozen compartments or more.]

But, unlike the U.S., Transport Canada does not base its review on existing studies of LNG safety (such as the Sandia National Laboratories studies) or international standards (SIGTO). TERMPOL does not include the evidence from “Large scale LNG pool fire experiments” and the Canadian government has no LNG safety regulations to apply. Curiously, Transport Canada considers only one compartment collapsing to be a plausible worst case scenario!

These flaws and omissions reveal that public safety is on the back burner in Canada. 


On behalf of Concerned Citizens Bowen

Anton van Walraven

© Copyright Bowen Island Undercurrent


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