Re: Proposal for an LNG liquefaction plant in Saanich Inlet.
Most weekends the campsite at Bamberton Park is full.
During the day 100 or more visitors will walk on Bamberton Beach and the ferry on “B.C’s most beautiful ferry route” [Mill Bay Ferry] will be carrying full loads of visitors to and fro.
This is a small but memorable part of the tourist experience which ultimately employs so many Islanders and brings so much pleasure to everybody involved.
The threatened LNG terminal at Bamberton will bring in tankers, each of which is about the size of a cruise ship.
These tankers will have to manoeuvre in and out of the restricted entrance of the Inlet and then interact with B.C. ferries, some carrying more than 1,000 passengers and crew.
The stored energy in an LNG tanker is of the order of a Hiroshima-type bomb, and while natural gas is by no means the most flammable gas, one just has to read of the precautions that are being taken in the vicinity of new plants (evacuation routes etc.) to accept that it is universally recognized that an accident could have utterly catastrophic consequences.
Other recently constructed LNG plants report sound levels 2 to 3km from the plant of 45 to 50 dB.
The maximum sound level for uninterrupted sleep is assessed at only 45dB.
Sleep however, is not the main problem, which is the continuous (24/7) wear and tear of noise pollution when one is kayaking, walking the beach, looking at seals, whales, eagles, ospreys and the like.
The proposed throughput of LNG for the plant is six megatons per year.
Usually the plant compressors are powered by burning a proportion of this gas on site, generally about eight per cent. These numbers translate to burning about 0.5 megatons of fuel per year at Bamberton which is roughly the amount of fuel burnt in one year by all of the B.C. ferry fleet!
The thought of all of the assorted B.C. ferries scurrying around within the Inlet during the day is of course ridiculous. What is very real however is the amount of all of the fumes and combustion products that would be produced in this scenario.
The Inlet, being an inlet, is largely surrounded by high hills and mountains and on a still day, the confined exhaust products of the plant would surely threaten to create horrendous breathing problems for some citizens in Mill Bay, Brentwood Bay and incidentally, the village where the Malahat band live.
The Inlet is at present a stunning gateway to the Cowichan Valley which in turn has been described as one of the best places in the world.
This proposal just does not seem credible at any level. If it does survive to receive serious and prolonged consideration then great harm will be done to B.C.s reputation as a tourist venue and as a protector of the environment.