Squamish First Nation approves pipeline for Woodfibre LNG

Agreement Woodfibre LNG, FortisBC signed with Squamish Nation is legally binding

The $1.7 billion Woodfibre LNG project in Squamish has regulatory approval and tentative offtake agreements signed.

Squamish First Nations chiefs and councilors have approved a new pipeline and compressor station that will provide natural gas to the Woodfibre LNG plant in Squamish.

The Squamish Nation last year approved the Woodfibre liquefied natural gas plant itself, which also received federal approval in March.

The one final piece of the puzzle was the pipeline extension and compressor station, which will be built by FortisBC.

The Squamish Nation conducted its own environmental assessment, and issued 25 conditions for approving the LNG plant and the FortisBC pipeline extension. Nine of those conditions related to the FortisBC component of the project.

One of the concerns addressed in the Squamish environmental assessment agreement was the location of a compressor station. Another was the routing of a new pipeline extension.

FortisBC agreed to relocate the compressor station and to take a different route on the pipeline extension to avoid the Skwelwil’em wildlife management area.

Squamish Chief Ian Campbell said that the environmental assessment agreement undertaken by the Squamish First Nation – agreed to by both FortisBC and Pacific Oil and Gas (the company behind the LNG project) – is a legally binding agreement that gives the Squamish Nation legal recourse, should the conditions be breached.

“Under the environmental assessment agreement, we become watchdog over our territory — our land and aquatic habitats,” Campbell said in a memorandum to the greater Squamish membership.

“Squamish Nation has approval authority over aspects of the project that are much stronger than allowing the provincial government to monitor and enforce its conditions and plans.”

One of the 25 conditions that has been agreed to but not yet negotiated is an economic benefits agreement with both Woodfibre LNG and FortisBC.