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Students call on Petronas to change proposed LNG plant location

Students for a Green University members

A group of UNBC students want the powers that be to consider a different location for the Pacific North West LNG terminal at Prince Rupert.

The LNG terminal, proposed by Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas and given federal environmental approval, is slated to be built on Lelu Island.

Today Students for a Green University (SGU) sent an open letter, signed by 500 students and faculty, to the minister of environment and climate change, Catherine McKenna.  The group is urging Petronas to consider another location. Bloomberg reported late last year that Pacific North West LNG may be looking to build on nearby Ridley Island, which has received the endorsement of Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen.

Students for a Green University representative Maigan Devries says that “building the terminal on Lelu Island would be detrimental to the Flora Banks and the millions of salmon that rely on the Banks during their transition into the ocean.” 

Last week, the group raised campus awareness of the issue and collected 500 signatures in support of their letter.

“We feel very strongly that the Flora Banks should be protected.  Building an LNG terminal on Lelu Island would be short-sighted, to say the least,” said Students for a Green University president, Keaton Freel.

The flora banks are vital to the well-being of Canada’s second-largest salmon run, he said.  The Banks are made up of ancient sand that was deposited at the mouth of the Skeena River after the last Ice Age.

“Once this eelgrass habitat is destroyed, there is no way to repair or replenish it,” added member Scott Brown.  “Compromising the Flora Banks will endanger the Skeena salmon, which negatively impacts the economic and ecological health of the entire province.”

Students for a Green University is a student-led environmental action club at UNBC.  The club’s contributions include informational sessions, fundraisers, documentary screenings, rallies, awareness campaigns, and sustainability initiatives.  SGU also established and maintains the Dome Greenhouse, supports the Borrow-A-Mug Program, and takes part in UNBC’s annual Green Day event.

Anyone wanting to add their signature in support of SGU’s letter to protect the Flora Banks can do so online:

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