Backgrounder Article from  Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

Woodfibre LNG Project: Environmental Assessment Decision

The Project

Woodfibre LNG Limited is proposing the construction and operation of a natural gas liquefaction facility near Squamish, British Columbia, on the northwestern shoreline of Howe Sound, for the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to global markets via marine vessels.

The Environmental Assessment Process

Substitution was granted to the province of B.C. to conduct the environmental assessment (EA) for this project in February 2014, in accordance with the substitution conditions under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012).

B.C. produced an Assessment Report for the project which includes its conclusions and recommendations on the potential environmental effects of the project, mitigation measures, the significance of adverse environmental effects, and the follow-up program.

The Agency reviewed B.C.'s findings, conclusions and recommendations in relation to CEAA 2012 requirements and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change considered B.C.'s Report in reaching her decision.

Public Consultation

B.C. consulted the public and Indigenous groups throughout the process. Environment and Climate Change Canada performed an analysis of anticipated greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) associated with the project. The Agency conducted an additional public comment period on this analysis from February 9 to March 1, 2016 and all comments received from the public and Indigenous groups were taken into account to inform the Minister's decision.

Consultation with Indigenous groups

Indigenous groups were consulted throughout the environmental assessment process and on the conditions set out in the Minister's Decision Statement. The comments received were considered in identifying conditions to serve as mitigation measures for impacts on hunting, fishing, marine harvesting, trapping and gathering plants for medicines and food. The conditions also establish specific requirements for the proponent to consult with Indigenous groups on the development and implementation of mitigation strategies and follow-up requirements.


The legally binding conditions in the Minister's Decision Statement address a number of environmental effects including fish and fish habitat, migratory birds, human health, current Indigenous use of lands and resources for traditional purposes and archaeological and heritage resources.

The decision statement also includes two conditions related to the management of greenhouse gases associated with the project.

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Hon. Catherine McKenna Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency Nature and Environment

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