FortisBC proposes to build a 24-inch high pressure pipeline through Squamish neighbourhoods, with a nine kilometer tunnel underneath the Squamish estuary and river to supply Woodfibre LNG with fracked gas.
A compressor station to move the gas along the pipeline will be located either on Mt Mulligan (behind Valleycliffe) or at the Woodfibre site.
FortisBC has also proposed a 7 hectare workcamp for 600 workers near Quest University that will be accessed via Mamquam Forest Service Road, which will have significant social impacts for Squamish and communities around Howe Sound.
Join more than 20,000 people that have signed a petition calling to stop Woodfibre LNG and the FortisBC pipeline.
24-inch high pressure pipeline puts residents at risk
The pipeline is currently proposed to run past Ravens Plateau, along Finch Drive, and through the Industrial Park in Squamish. These areas have many new homes and businesses, and many homeowners are completely unaware that a 24-inch high pressure pipeline is proposed through their neighbourhood.
FortisBC has refused to release its risk analysis for the pipeline route, so we conducted a hazard assessment using ALOHA, which is a widely-used computer program designed to model fires and explosions for emergency responders and planners.
The resulting maps show how families and businesses along the pipeline route in Squamish and Coquitlam are at risk from pressure waves (as a result of an explosion) and radiative effects (from a resulting fire).
People that live or work along the pipeline route could suffer potentially lethal radiative effects (up to 330 metres), second degree burns (up to 460 metres), and pain (up to 715 metres). Pressure waves from a worst-case scenario accident could result in destruction of buildings (up to 360 metres), serious injury (up to 570 metres), and shatter glass (up to 1,275 metres).
Homes that are located near high-pressure gas pipelines often have decreased property value, and several families have already sold their homes because they didn't want to live in the high hazard zone for FortisBC's proposed pipeline.
There are safer alternative routes for this pipeline, so why is FortisBC recklessly putting people that live or work along the pipeline route at risk?
Acid rock drainage and metal leaching
FortisBC proposes to drill a 14 foot wide, nine kilometer tunnel from the BC Rail Lands, underneath the Squamish estuary and river. This could result in permanent acid rock drainage and metal leaching, similar to the toxic pollution that poisoned the lands and waters around Britannia Beach for decades.
FortisBC has currently proposed a water treatment facility that will discharge into the Squamish River, but who will be responsible for maintaining this once the project is over?
There is no current plan to dispose of the dredge spoil from this tunnel.
Where will the compressor station go?
Compressor stations pressurize the gas so it can move along the pipeline. FortisBC originally proposed the compressor station to be located in the Industrial Park. Thanks to significant community pressure FortisBC relocated the compressor station (with no community consultation) to just behind Valleycliffe on Mt Mulligan, roughly 1.8 km from Ravens Plateau, Crumpit Woods, and Valleycliffe, in a direct line-of-sight approximately 400 metres above these neighbourhoods.
This compressor station will have a significant impact on the quality of life for people living in these neighbourhoods.
More community pressure from Valleycliffe residents has since forced FortisBC to apply for permission to move the compressor station to the Woodfibre site in 2020, however the final location is not certain, and FortisBC could choose either location.
If the compressor station is located on Mt Mulligan, it threatens the drinking water infrastructure for all of Squamish, and increases wildfire risk. The typical evacuation radius is 1.6 km up to 3 km, and Valleycliffe has one access road in and out. Large explosions and resulting damage can wipe out everything for 3+ km. Two schools are located in or near the 3 km evacuation boundary.
An explosion or fire at the compressor station or along the pipeline puts the surrounding forest and neighbourhood at risk from wildfire. In a dry summer, a malfunction or spark will result in an immediate wildfire of about 16 hectares. In these same dry conditions, we expect this wildfire to reach Valleycliffe homes in less than 15 minutes. This time is reduced to less than 5 minutes with a southerly wind.
Social impacts of work camps
FortisBC has proposed a 7 hectare workcamp for 600 workers near Quest University that will be accessed via Mamquam Forest Service Road. FortisBC has applied for an amendment to their Environmental Assessment Certificate to increase the size of the camp from 2 to 7 hectares to allow parking for 600 trucks. FortisBC will also need to apply to the District of Squamish for either a Temporary Use Permit or to rezone the land to allow for a workcamp.
Studies during construction of similar industrial projects with large numbers of temporary construction workers have resulted in:
increased number of workplace accidents.
increased substance abuse and misuse.
increased traffic accidents and collisions.
increased rate of violent crime, including sexual assault and sexualized violence, and increased domestic violence.
increased violence against Indigenous women and children.
increased rates of prostitution.
increased demands on hospitals, counseling, police, and ambulance services, which results in reduced service capacity for residents.
Secwepemcul'ecw Assembly (2019) What are man camps? Accessed 2019-04-20 "“Camp culture” has been reported to exacerbate isolation, mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, violence, misogyny, and racism among the men living there. Away from family, friends, and social supports, these men face stressful, difficult, and potentially dangerous working conditions, including long hours, shift work, and ‘two-week in, two-week out’ work schedules. In this environment, and with heightened disposable incomes, increased substance abuse is well documented."
Last week we met with MP Patrick Weiler to call on him to support a strong emissions cap that includes LNG. This is a critical piece of Federal legislation that could help stop Woodfibre LNG in its tracks. It was a beautiful day, with 20 people joining us from across the riding:
With floods, heat waves, and wildfires hitting our communities, it’s clear we can’t afford to delay climate action. That's why we're joining LeadNow’s Day of Action for a bold emissions cap. Join us on Thursday, May 25, at your MP's office to call for a bold emissions cap that includes LNG!
My name is Katie Perkins, and I have been volunteering with My Sea to Sky since 2019. This year I am excited to take on the role of Youth Outreach Coordinator. This Thursday, FortisBC is hosting a public information meeting to answer questions related to the workcamp and the construction yard.
Strike One! Non-compliance warning … After starting construction without notice, Woodfibre LNG has been issued a warning that the project is non-compliant with the Environmental Assessment Certificate notification and submission requirements, and twelve of its conditions.
Happy New Year! 2023 is going to be a big one, and it's more important than ever to stand together to hold Woodfibre LNG and FortisBC accountable. Can you join us before work on Tuesday for a peaceful demonstration? WHEN: 8:30am to 9:00am, Tuesday 24th January … WHERE:
As the year draws to a close, let's take a moment to reflect on a year of action. My Sea to Sky is a small organization with a big heart. We have an outsized impact, and our success is due in no small part to you—our amazing community. Here are a few of our key successes in 2022...
Paddleboarding on the waters of Átl’ḵa7tsem / Howe Sound has allowed me to have such an intimate perspective of this unique ecosystem. The paddleboard is the perfect tool to connect to the environment, and experience the breathtaking beauty and return of wildlife to the sound.
I started swimming in Átl’ḵa7tsem / Howe Sound while training for my English Channel swim crossing in 2017, and I've absolutely fallen in love with the area. It's so close to Vancouver, yet these are some of the most desolate and wild places I’ve ever swam.
I have spent the past 30 years out in Átl’ḵa7tsem / Howe Sound, climbing the sea cliffs, paddling, and spending time with my family. Returning to Howe Sound time and time again has really helped to calm my soul and instill me with a great sense of peace.
Woodfibre LNG is evicting families in Squamish … Woodfibre LNG is about to evict 30+ families from the Sirocco One building in downtown Squamish. We already have a housing crisis in Squamish, and Woodfibre LNG and FortisBC are about to make it worse.
Átl’ḵa7tsem / Howe Sound is a place of inspiration and connection. A place where the people have proved what's possible by standing together to preserve the ongoing restoration of the land, the waters, and the wildlife here.
When Russia invaded Ukraine, everything changed overnight. Woodfibre LNG—which had essentially stalled—is now on a fast-track to construction, capitalizing on the gas crisis in Europe to beg for more government handouts and push through key permits. We need to respond, and quickly.
Take action! Help us to recruit more signatories … In September 2021, a diverse coalition of 200 organizations and businesses published an open letter calling on the BC government to commit to ten urgent climate actions to confront the climate emergency.
Tomorrow evening, Woodfibre LNG is hosting an open house in Squamish. Come out and ask the tough questions to hold Woodfibre LNG accountable! Woodfibre LNG open house in Squamish … WHEN: 6:30pm to 8:30pm, Wednesday 12th October, 2022 … WHERE:
Tomorrow is the National Day of Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation women and girls invite you to join us for a candle-lit vigil to remember and honour the victims, survivors, and families of this ongoing genocide. No More Stolen Sisters … WHEN:
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Commemoration honouring our children and survivors … The Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation would like to invite everyone to gather as a community to honour, remember, and pay respect to the Survivors of Residential School & those who never made it home.
The last few months I've read through thousands of pages of documents from the environmental assesment for the FortisBC pipeline. What I discovered is that the impacts of a work camp located in the community of Squamish have never been assessed .
This Thursday in Squamish, join us for a FREE community screening of Fracking the Peace, a powerful new documentary telling the story of community members living on Treaty 8 territory in Northeastern B.C. whose daily lives, homes, environment, and health have been changed by fracking in the region.
Earlier this year, we suspected that Woodfibre LNG had made another fake "final investment decision" in a desperate gamble to drum up investors. Unfortunately, their gamble has paid off. Last Friday, Enbridge announced that it had bought a 30% stake in Woodfibre LNG.
Local residents are expressing alarm after learning that FortisBC wants to put a construction yard near their neighbourhood. Residents are concerned about dust, noise pollution, light pollution, air pollution, traffic, waste disposal issues, and many other potential impacts.
Woodfibre LNG has made another fake "final investment decision." In March, Woodfibre LNG announced a budget of CAD $625 million to the District of Squamish, with $25 million designated for preconstruction and site cleanup in Squamish, and the rest for engineering, procurement…
This is ludicrous. FortisBC is proposing a workcamp for 600 workers right in the middle of Squamish. The site is proposed up near Quest University and will be accessed via Mamquam Forest Service Road (near Valleycliffe).
To: Members of the Legislative Assembly … For the last eight years, I have been one of thousands of citizens standing in opposition to the proposed Woodfibre LNG and FortisBC pipeline projects near Squamish BC.
An independent hazard assessment of a worst-case scenario accident (X) shows that residents will suffer potentially lethal radiative effects (up to 330 metres), second degree burns (up to 460 metres), and pain (up to 715 metres).
FortisBC pipeline and compressor station amendment … FortisBC has applied for an amendment to its Environmental Assessment Certificate, and the public comment period started last week (deadline = 23rd December).
I'm sure you saw the ads. Wait, what? You didn't? Huh... that's weird. Earlier this month FortisBC hosted two virtual information sessions to provide updates on their preferred route for the Eagle Mountain to Woodfibre pipeline, and relocation of the compressor station to the Woodfibre site.