Photo: Alexander Shields The Duty
The mouth of the Saguenay is considered to be part of the critical habitat of the beluga of the St. Lawrence river.
The Quebec government promises to assess impacts of the maritime transport arising from the proposed Energy Saguenay in the course of the hearings of the BAPE. The “legal measures” that would protect the St. Lawrence beluga, critical habitat will be crossed by ships, tankers, however fall within the responsibility of the federal, which has decided to exclude the issue of transportation of its decision on the project.
The information published by The Duty Tuesday, show that the canadian environmental assessment Agency has decided to exclude maritime transport of natural gas that will be exported from its definition of “project” that is the subject of an ” environmental assessment “.
This means in particular that the federal minister of the Environment will not take into account this aspect in order to determine if the LNG project in Quebec is likely to ” cause significant adverse environmental effects “. This transport, which will be ensured by imposing ships, the tankers that will travel through the marine park of Saguenay–Saint-Laurent, will therefore not be subject to ” the conditions imposed on the promoter by a statement of decision authorizing the implementation of the project “.
Review of the BAPE
The government of François Legault promises, however, that it will take into account “the impacts of maritime transportation of liquefied natural gas,” which must be “assessed by LNG Quebec” in the framework of its impact study, which will eventually lead to a review of the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE).
According to what said by e-mail to the office of the minister of the Environment, Benoit Charette, the study should also analyze ” the effects on wildlife and its habitats, the species that are threatened or vulnerable or likely to be designated as, or on species that are of specific importance on the social, economic, cultural or scientific.”
The beluga of the St. Lawrence is justly designated as “threatened” on the list of threatened or vulnerable species of Québec. The biologist Alain Branchaud remember, however, that “legal measures” that protect a species like the beluga essentially a matter of federal law.
“The government of Quebec may well include the cumulative impacts of a project on the beluga whale in its analysis and to propose “mitigation measures”, in the end, what are the prohibitions to federal laws, including the Law on species at risk, which will be binding on the promoter, ” explained Tuesday, Mr. Branchaud, director-general of the Society for nature and parks, Quebec.
Under the Act the species at risk act, Ottawa has the obligation to protect the critical habitat of the species, which includes a large portion of the Saguenay river, including its mouth. While this industry is seen as being as crucial for the safeguarding of the beluga whales that the area of Cacouna. Some sectors of the Saguenay are frequented assiduously by females with young.
Called upon to respond Tuesday to the information published in The Duty, the member pq Sylvain Gaudreault has reiterated its demand for a “joint commission” between Quebec and Ottawa to assess all components of the project Energy Saguenay.
Holding that the federal assessment ” lack of rigour “, Mr. Gaudreault has argued that an environmental review be “comprehensive” would include not only the impacts of the exploitation of natural gas in Alberta, but also those of the future gas pipeline of 750 km that will feed the Power plant Saguenay, the factory itself and the transportation of liquefied gas on the Saguenay and the St. Lawrence river.
The liberal mp Marie Montpetit has also reaffirmed that his training was demanding ” a comprehensive assessment “, while offering political support to the LNG project Quebec : “This is a project that we supported and supported and which is well received in the region,” she said.
On the side of Québec solidaire, there are reports to the contrary, the desire to build such a complex for the liquefaction of natural gas which will be operated largely by hydraulic fracturing, in the west of the country. “No, the CAQ has nothing understood to the climate emergency, otherwise she would see the obvious : this project is bad for the climate, this project is a threat to the ecosystem and this project is a setback for the economic transition of Quebec,” said Ruba Ghazal, head of solidarity in the field of economic transition and ecological.
LNG Quebec must present on Wednesday morning to the media for the impact study of its project, Energy-Saguenay, a complex of 7.5 billion which must include a liquefaction plant and a marine terminal on the Saguenay. A gas pipeline of 750 km, also to be built, it must route the natural gas that will be liquefied. Even if the two projects are controlled by financial interests closely related, the promoters say that it is two separate projects.