Skip to content

Russian scientists in B.C. to back Pacific NorthWest LNG opponents

A trio of Russian scientists and a noted conservationist are in the midst of a B.C. tour cautioning against building the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG facility on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert because of its potential impact to salmon.
lelu
The 257-page Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency report states Pacific NorthWest LNG would have “significant” adverse environmental effects on harbour porpoises and in the production of greenhouse gases in Northeast B.C., but not on fish habitat.

A trio of Russian scientists and a noted conservationist are in the midst of a B.C. tour cautioning against building the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG facility on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert because of its potential impact to salmon.

The team comes from Sakhalin Island, the only place in the world with an liquefied natural gas facility operating in a wild salmon estuary, according to a press release.

Aniva Bay, the location of the LNG plant, was once home to the third largest pink salmon run in the world, but since the facility was built, there have been sharp declines in the number of salmon there.

“Sakhalin Island and Lelu Island have two things in common — wild salmon and LNG,” said Dimitry Lisitsyn, director of Sakhalin Environment Watch, in a written statement.

“We have a chance to help the people of the Skeena watershed protect one of the most famous and rich wild salmon sanctuaries in the world... I really hope this will not be replicated in the Skeena estuary.”

The delegation’s tour kicked off in Prince Rupert Feb. 12, and wraps up in Vancouver Feb. 18 with a press conference hosted by the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs.

Other stops along the way include Hazleton, Smithers and Terrace.

Their visit comes after the federal government’s draft environmental assessment report on Petronas’ proposed facility, released Feb. 10, which states the multi-billion dollar project will not affect fish habitat.

The project would export natural gas drilled in the North Peace.

 peacereporter@ahnfsj.ca