FortisBC proposes to build a 24-inch high pressure pipeline through Squamish neighbourhoods, with a 9-kilometer tunnel underneath Squamish Estuary and through a mountain to supply Woodfibre LNG with fracked gas.
FortisBC has also proposed a 7 hectare workcamp – equivalent to 17 football fields! – for 650 workers near Quest University. This will have significant impacts for Squamish residents and other communities around Howe Sound.
A compressor station to move the gas along the pipeline will be located at the Woodfibre site.
Join more than 22,000 people that have signed a petition calling to stop Woodfibre LNG and the FortisBC pipeline.SIGN THE PETITION
Here's what you need to know:
Social impacts of work camps
"Camp culture breeds a hypermasculinity that is fuelled by isolation, drug and alcohol abuse, violence, misogyny, and racism." -Justice for Girls
FortisBC has applied to the District of Squamish for Temporary Use Permits to build a construction laydown yard and a 7-hectare workcamp near Quest University, both of which would be accessed via the Mamquam Forest Service Road.
Studies during construction of similar industrial projects with large numbers of temporary construction workers have shown:
- increased demands on hospitals, counseling, police, and ambulance services, which results in reduced service capacity for residents.
- increased rate of violent crime, including sexual assault and sexualized violence, and increased domestic violence.
- increased violence against Indigenous women, children, and 2SLGBTQ+ people.
- increased home prices, rental costs (e.g., bidding wars of $1500-2,000 for a bedroom were reported in Valemount near TMX’s workcamp), and housing availability
- increased number of workplace accidents.
- increased substance abuse and misuse.
- increased traffic accidents and collisions.
- Increased rates of prostitution and sex trafficking
- increased risk of COVID-19 outbreaks and sexually transmitted diseases.
- waste disposal issues.
Right now, we have a critical opportunity to stop this workcamp! The District of Squamish is highly critical of both FortisBC proposals, and, with your support, can deny these permits. Please take a minute to send a letter to the District of Squamish mayor and council, asking them to reject the Temporary Use Permits for FortisBC’s workcamp and laydown yard.SEND A LETTER
FortisBC wants to drill under the Squamish Estuary, a Wildlife Management Area.
Estuaries are some of the most productive ecosystems in the world. A 2021 study found the Squamish Estuary provides $12.6 million every year in ecosystem goods and services, such as water filtration and flood mitigation.
FortisBC proposes to drill a 14 foot wide, 9-kilometre tunnel from the BC Rail Lands, underneath the Squamish Estuary and river. They will be using bentonite slurry, a substance that can pollute soil and surface water, to tunnel bore. Bentonite slurry can be deadly for fish due to increasing suspended sediments and levels of toxic heavy metals that can bioaccumulate.
Tunnel boring could also 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. If potential acid rock is encountered, FortisBC says it will be covered, then placed back inside the tunnel once pipes are installed and tunnel sealed. Acid rock drainage is what made Britannia Mine the largest single point source of metal contamination in North America.
FortisBC has applied for a Waste Discharge Authorization permit to release up to 1,600 cubic metres of effluent into Howe Sound every day during project construction. That’s as much as 233 Olympic swimming pools!
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?
What you can do:
Amnesty International (2016) Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Gender, Indigenous Rights, and Energy Development in Northeast British Columbia, Canada.
Kevin Maimann (2018) Link between rural work camps and violence against women is real, researchers say. The Star Edmonton, published 2018-12-04
Northern Health (2018) Health and Safety During the Opioid Overdose Emergency:Northern Health’s Recommendations for Industrial Camps. Office of Health and Resource Development. Version 1.5. August 2018.
Northern Health (2017) Communicable Disease Control Plan Best Management Guide for Industrial Camps. Office of Health and Resource Development. Version 2.2. July 2017.
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."
Clarice Eckford and Jillian Wagg (2014) The Peace Project: Gender Based Analysis of Violence against Women and Girls in Fort St. John. Prepared for the Fort St. John Women’s Resource Society.
Joanna Smith (2016) Fort St. John 'a dangerous place for our women,’ indigenous activist says. The Star, published 2016-04-03
Peter Rugh (2013) Inside Fracking's 'Man Camps', Where Sex, Drugs, and Gonorrhea Run Rampant. Motherboard, published 2013-10-18
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