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Oct 26, 2000
And let us tell you when something new is posted on SqWALK!... more
NDP allowing far `dirtier' plant than Sumas
Oct 26, 2000
A power plant in Campbell River will emit 10 times as much
carbon monoxide as one proposed for Sumas, Wash.. more
The full report on this is at:
The "dirt" on Campbell River is in section 3.2, page 7 (page 19
Letter to Brad, a student from Shawnigan Lake
Oct 24, 2000
I'm a youth from Shawnigan Lake and I'm doing an assignment
on (the GSX) pipeline and I'm wondering if you could give me just a brief
overview of why this is such a bad thing? And what some solutions would be... more
No reason to trust Island cogen plans
Oct 22, 2000
Based on the Campbell River cogen example, neither BC Hydro nor the government has earned the right to the public's trust. Paul Willcocks reports on Island Cogen and lax pollution controls... more
Anderson Refers GSX To Panel Review
Oct 4, 2000
Minister of Environment Joan Sawicki on Sumas Energy 2
Sept 28, 2000 Press release
CVRD demands NEB announce new scoping deadline
Sept 28, 2000
Hydro likes independent review idea
Sept. 24, 2000
Anderson Defends Himself on Sumas Energy 2
Sept. 22, 2000
Marine Route Info Session Another PR Disaster for GSX
Sept. 20, 2000
Koksilah River Crossing: Is this a concern?
Sept. 19, 2000
Hundreds rally against proposed Sumas plant
Sept. 15, 2000
Cobble Hill Marine Route Info Session, Sept 20
Sept. 7, 2000
Hydro and Williams lay another egg
August 27, 2000
Living on a Giant Bic Lighter
August 27, 2000
Saturna Info Session goes very badly
August 26, 2000
Islands Trust requests
Independent Panel Review August 22,
Club requests Panel Review August 24,
CVRD requests Panel Review,
13 points of concern August 23, 2000
Director Richard Dalon requests
Independent Panel Review August 24, 2000
Senator Pat Carney requests
an Independent Panel Review August 14,
worker egged, resigns SqWALK!
Comments August 23, 2000
BC Hydro info sessions on Marine
Route of GSX August 19,2000
BC Hydro's real plan
for a Duncan generation plant August 19,2000
Land Reserve Commission
gives its support to GSX August 2, 2000
CVRD takes a position
on the GSX August 16, 2000
Guide to the Canadian Environmental Process (CEAA) August
Lay Guide to the NEB
Environmental Assessment August 8, 2000
notes to the GSX August 4, 2000 Download
Earthquake hits Vancouver Island
Energy 2 developer has BC govt docs that are not available to citizens
of BC July 28,2000
NEB Info sessions on southern Gulf
Islands July 28,2000
Opposition mounts from
FVRD to CVRD along GSX Route July 2,2000
Williams reps scare
San Juan County July 2,2000
NEB starts GSX public scoping
process June 20, 2000
With Hydro beating
at the door is it time to join CAPLA?
June 10, 2000
Hands Across The Waters -
Cobble Hill to Abbotsford June 1, 2000
Can the GSX pipeline be stopped?
May 22, 2000
Fight The Pipe News
May 17, 2000
About the GSX
Introduction to the GSX
Cobble Hill (Manley
Creek) Route Map
Hydro Georgia Strait Crossing Website
Exploratory Drilling off Manley
Creek Park May 18, 2000
Selection of the Manley Creek South Route May
Media Release Backgrounder May
4, 2000 (Word document)
of Williams/Hydro partnership to build GSX Sept
Regulatory & Approval Process
About the Regulatory & Approval
Lay Guide to the NEB Environmental Assessment August 8, 2000 Download
Guide to the Canadian Environmental Process (CEAA) August 16, 2000
of Georgia Strait Pipeline Crossing (GSX) documents
Last day for submissions on scope of environmental assessment is August 28, 2000 June 30, 2000
Package June 2000 (Note: BIG pdf document)
Memorandum of Understanding itself between NEB, DFO, EAO re GSX
May 18, 2000
submission for proposed GSX March 21,
Georgia Strait Crossing Project
Federal Energy Regulatory
Cdn Alliance of Pipeline Landowner Associations (CAPLA) June 10, 2000
Introduction to the GSX
BC Hydro has teamed up with an American company, Williams,
to build a pipeline from Sumas, across the northern edge of Washington
State to Cherry Point, under the Strait of Georgia, then ashore on
Vancouver Island in Cobble Hill. It is proposed that it join the
Centra Gas pipeline at the north-western end of Shawnigan Lake.
Thereafter, the gas is to be routed through Centra's natural gas
pipe artery north to Campbell River, Port Alberni, and Duncan, to fuel
three electrical generation plants. In Washington State, the GSX
will also deliver gas to industrial and commercial customers.
There does not at this time appear to be a physical
connection proposed for Sumas Energy
Residents of Cobble Hill, the Gulf Islands, and Washington State are concerned about
the pipeline. Concerns range from pipeline
safety, particularly in earthquake zones such as the entire GSX
route. Landowners are concerned with land alienation and compensation.
The pipeline is a component of BC Hydro's strategy to meet future
demand for electricity on Vancouver Island and elswhere in BC, by
burning natural gas. As a non-renewable resource,
a fossil fuel, and a very large contributor to greenhouse gases,
natural gas is far from an ideal or acceptable source of energy.
Natural gas is a major contributor to global warming, and BC Hydro's
strategy needs to be discussed in the context of Canada's Kyoto Protocol commitment to reduce
greenhouse gases; and British Columbia's participation in that effort.
The economics of the project are unexamined and
suspect. Evidence of rising demand is unconvincing, but the
radical swings and increases in the price of natural gas will result
in electricity that will likewise have to be sold for uncontrollable
rates. This could place British Columbia's economy in sever
jeopardy, and threaten the livelihoods and well-being of all British
For more information, read the information backgrounder at http://www.sqwalk.com/GSX_overview.pdf,
and browse the Sqwalk website.
Strait Crossing Project Team to undertake geotechnical investigations
south of Boatswain Bank, Vancouver Island, May 18, 2000
Media release. Geotechnical studies, which involved drilling
from a barge offshore, (and from a truck-mounted rig onshore?),
occurred between Sunday, May 21 and Wednesday, May 31. Folks, drive
to the end of Hutchinson, through Arbutus Ridge, to Manley Creek
Park. Walk down the trail through the park, to the sea. Beautiful,
isn't it. You're on the edge of the pipeline route. To minimize
the obvious disruption, Hydro is exploring the possibility of punching
the pipe through with minimal surface digging.
The Regulatory and Approval Process
In Canada, the National Energy Board (NEB) has jurisdiction
and authority to approve the GSX. In the USA, it's the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission (FERC).
The NEB is conducting its environmental assessment on behalf of
itself, the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO), and the federal
Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). Read the Memorandum
of Understanding (MOU) for details of that agreement - this
is a useful document. Read it. The MOU provides for written and
oral public input on the environmental assessment itself, and gives
the public, and the provincial EAO, opportunities to comment on
the scope of the assessment.
The NEB has announced a schedule for preparation of the draft scope
of the environmental assessment. They are holding two information
sessions to describe the process and explain the opportunities for
public involvement in both the environmental assessment, and the
Monday, June 26, 2000, 7:00 - 10:00 pm
Best Western Cowichan Valley Inn
6474 Trans Canada Highway, Duncan, BC
Tuesday, June 27, 2000, 7:00 - 10:00 pm
1515 McTavish Road, Sidney, BC
The deadline for public comments on the draft scope of the assessment
is given as July 7, which is a mere 10 days following the information
sessions. Given that the proponents of the project are professionals
who have been working on this project for a year or more, and the
public is only just being brought into the discussion - well, this
is clearly unbalanced, unfair, and biased heavily in favour of the
project proponents (Hydro and Williams).
While no deadline is stated for the project approval, the proponents
are still stating completion in 2002.
In the United States, the FERC process is similar to the NEB process.
It does not appear that an application has been submitted to FERC,
although the GSX website said that Williams intended to file this
application by the second quarter of 2000. If you have more information,
please let us know.
NEB info sessions on the southern Gulf Islands
The NEB held information sessions in late July on
Pender Island (July 18), Salt Spring Island (July 19) and Saturna
Island (July 20). Accounts of those visits were submitted to SqWALK!
by a number of contributors:
Attendance was best on Saturna Island, good on Pender Island, and
not too many came to the Salt Spring event. Of course, holding these
sessions midweek, and in the case of Pender, in the middle of the
afternoon, is a pretty good way of ensuring that many who might otherwise
The active community on SSI is also fully
engaged in the battle to try to keep some trees on the island, despite
the best efforts of Texada Land Corp and Manulife to rape the island
- impact to the islands and marine life
- benefit to islands
- illogic of environmental assessment preceding a feasibility
study, requiring lots of up front leg work by opponents without
a proof of technical/economic viability.
- Islands Trust role
- pipeline bisects the proposed Orca Pass Marine Stewardship area
- Saturna turnout was deadset against the GSX
- Senator and Saturna resident Pat Carney was reportedly taking
her concerns directly to David Anderson
- why not use the existing pipeline/route?
- does anyone actually want the pipeline (as opposed to a few
corporations and governments)?
- what data is there on sound frequencies and their effects on
- what consideration for threatened species, homing rivers, etc.?
- how valid are cost arguments with rising gas prices?
- given the level of public concern, an Independent Panel Review
is a more appropriate process than the current Comprehensive Studies
As almost an aside, when one of the panel said ... that
it was a complex area and issue I asked why, then, might a pipeline
be approved in relatively short order, when a National Marine Conservation
Area first mooted some 20 years ago for the Southern Gulf Islands
(and perhaps a trans-boundary area) is still in a pre-consultative
phase and might not be achieved for another ten years because of
those same jurisdictional and usage complexities. This set the DFO
rep scribbling and caught the attention of everyone. Jill
Thanks to Peter Ronald, Jill Taylor, and Susie Washington Smyth for these notes.
VICTORIA - A minor earthquake rattled dishes
on northern Vancouver Island Tuesday afternoon.
The quake measured 4.7 on the Richter scale. It was centred about
23 kilometres south of Gold River.
Scientists at the Pacific Geoscience Centre say the earthquake hit
at 2:30 Tuesday afternoon. It was felt from Tofino on the west coast
of Vancouver Island across to Campbell River, on the east side.
No injuries or damages have been reported.
CBC Radio 1, Vancouver, August
This souffle is rising - in anger
On August 23, the Bellingham
Herald reported that the woman who was briefly the "face of the
GSX" in Washington State, had resigned. She'd been pelted with eggs
in a supermarket parking lot, decided the experience was too frightening
and unpleasant, and her company withdrew from their arrangement with
the Herald article, and have a look at the
official GSX public relations brochure that introduced her.
SqWALK! does NOT endorse this kind of activism. It is assault. It
singles out individuals and victimises them in a way that is humiliating,
terrifying and illegal.
However, the proponents of the GSX are secretive, aggressive, and
so far have been unwilling to establish any real dialogue with the
communities through which they seek to push their pipeline. BC Hydro
and Williams are using jackboot tactics to obtain access to lands
they are not welcome on, hiding information and facts from project
critics. This is precisely the kind of behaviour that elicits such
enraged public reaction.
They address concerns about safety with empty platitudes, when the
record is clear - natural gas pipelines are bombs in our backyards.
Is it possible to engineer a pipeline to be zero-risk in an earthquake
zone, which is what should be the case with the GSX? Of course not.
A few eggs are not much, unless you are the unfortunate person who
was the target. But they are certainly an indication of how much anger,
fear, and mistrust there is of the GSX proponents, Hydro and Williams.
From the Fraser Valley, where the public outcry against Sumas Energy
2 has been heard in Olympia and Victoria; to Bellingham where the
eggs were thrown, through San Juan County and the Gulf Islands where
communities and regional governments alike have registered their concern
and opposition to the project; and finally in Cobble Hill on Vancouver
Island where virtually every farmer and landowner on the GSX route
has signed a document stating their opposition to the GSX, and some
have put up signs to broadcast their opposition - there is a powerful
public antagonism to the GSX. It won't stop at a few eggs, if the
proponents, governments, and review boards (NEB and FERC), don't take
the expressions of concern seriously.
Hydro and Williams lay another egg
Hydro and Williams publish a public relations brochure for the Georgia Strait Crossing project. In August, for the first time, they mounted a public relations campaign in Washington State, as well as in Canada. For the American edition, they printed a glowing announcement of their community and project relations person, Kathy Anderson. The Canadian edition contains a listing of information sessions on the Gulf Islands.
Last week, Ms. Anderson was pelted with eggs in a parking lot (read
the Bellingham Herald article here and SqWALK!s
comments above). As noted in the article, Ms. Anderson's employer
respected their employee too much to subject her to that kind of harrassment,
and they withdrew from the arrangement with Williams and Hydro.
For Hydro and Williams, this was another public relations coup.
Now they had a brochure announcing Ms. Anderson, and no Ms. Anderson.
Well, the brochure has disappeared from the project website (http://www.georgiastrait.twc.com/what's%20New.htm).
It's been replaced with the Fall edition. Guess what? The fall edition
is the August edition, but Ms. Anderson has been replaced with the
Gulf Islands info session schedule.
Not completely replaced. Look closely at the contents listed at the top of the brochure. See "New
Landowner Representative"? Didn't quite remove all traces
of Ms. Anderson.
We can hope that other statements made by Hydro and Williams have more permanence. Hmm. Let's see.
How about, "We don't need another pipeline to serve the Campbell River and Port Alberni cogens" (1997-98) compared to "We need the GSX to service ICP and PAC."
How about, "B.C.Hydro's Power Supply group plan to build a plant near
Duncan"(1999) compared to the more recent, "location undecided".
"need the GSX to meet growing demand for electricity on Vancouver Island " when their own graphs tell the truth about level, perhaps even declining demand, over the last ten years.
And the big lie that will cost British Columbians for a long time, that will make a trio of aluminum boats look like three little dinghies: "natural gas is the lowest-cost option"!
Info Session on Saturna Island goes very badly
A Saturna Island resident reports that the marine route information
session on Saturna Island didn't go well. All 40 of the residents
who came, were upset and offended at the meeting, and went away angrier
and more frustrated than they arrived.
Held as one of a set of marine route information sessions, on the
Gulf Islands and in Sidney, GSX proponents BC Hydro and Williams will
present these sessions as evidence that they "consulted" with the
communities along the route. (See the meeting schedule
The project engineer did most of the speaking...
Wayne Bourque from Parks Canada attended too. They have
a big interest in Saturna because they will eventually own 50% of
our island as part of the Gulf Islands National Park.
In terms of the tone of the evening it was basically negative from
the outset. Even though the event is building as "Public Consultation",
the guys from BCHydro came not prepared to consult (it was a show
and tell) but to tell us what a good job they are doing and that
the scope of the project is just fine and that they don't have to
worry because CEAA and the NEB don't want a panel review.
Concerning environmental studies on the marine component none were
shared ... That being said I am certain there will be serious questions
about specifics. There were lots of questions about fishing areas
and crabbing and we got the lecture on crab ladders etc. I asked
about how they intended to ensure ecological integrity in the proposed
marine conservation area and in those areas adjacent to the new
park. The ... guy from BCHydro in charge of env. studies told me
not to worry ... that he had talked to Parks Canada and that they
had no problem with what Hydro is proposing. At that point Wayne
Bourque (Parks Canada) got up and said that the only discussions
which had occured were on the conceptual level and that Parks Canada
as an intevenor intended to review the data before making any decision.
The two guys from Williams, Butch from Texas and Sandor Karpathy
told us about their mapping of the sea bottom and how they are using
that mapping to site the pipeline. Present plans are to bury to
cable from Van. island to the top of Moresby island and then they
may bury it a bit more and from there east to the mainland it will
be on the seabed with "effective" crab ladders (shades of the fences
alongTranscanada highway through Banff) or be "bridged using very
specific criteria" (they didn't tell us about the criteria). They
mentioned risk analyses and hazard analysis but gave us no details.
About regulation of Greenhouse Gases and other air quality issues?
John Duffy said "The only thing is the Kyoto accord of which Canada
is one of 37 signatories but it needs 147(?) to be ratified which
is unlikely so it doesn't really have any effect for curbing GHG.
There is nothing else required by regulation "(NEVER MIND Canada's
commitment to VOLUNTARY ACTIONS)
I have heard project engineers invoke their god given right to develop
oil and gas reserves ... and I have heard project engineers say
many other dumb things but I have never been to a session like we
experienced on Saturna. ....
Whidbey Island Orca Pipeline Event, October 18
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2000 16:27:51 -0700
From: Jennifer Lail firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Save the Date: Pipeline Event
===== A message from the 'whatnext' discussion list =====
We'll send out more information on this later, but wanted folks to know that Susan Harper of Fuel Safe Washington, and one of the members of Gov. Locke's new Citizens Committee on Pipeline Safety, will be on the island to speak at an event hosted by People for Puget Sound and WEAN on Wednesday, October 18th, 7p at the Freeland Hall.
Hope everyone will join us. We should know more about the proposed ORCA pipeline plans then. . . Whatcom County has adopted a moratorium on any new pipeline construction until more is known about the new federal legislation regarding pipeline safety. We may want to advocate for a similar approach here in Island County. -Jennifer
Whidbey Environmental Action Network is a non-profit membership-based organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the native biological diversity of Whidbey Island and the Pacific Northwest.
If you are not already a member, please consider joining! Dues are $30 per year. Members receive our newsletter and periodic action alerts.
P.O. Box 53
Langley, WA 98260
phone (360) 221-7838
fax (360) 221-2161