The CEAA Has Not Been Taking Comments

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s (CEAA) 20-day comment period for a proposed mega-sized LNG terminal in Delta, BC, began on May 22. If the WesPack Tilbury Marine Jetty is built, it can bring up to 120 LNG tankers and 90 LNG  carriers to the Fraser River every year. This might have totally escaped our notice, if someone from Voters Taking Action On Climate Change (VTACC) hadn’t seen a notice a notice about the proposed LNG facility on the British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office’s (BC EAO) website. That was last week. Today, a day before the comment period officially ends, word came that the CEAA has not been taking comments.

As you can see from the enlarged screenshot on the top of this page, they couldn’t. They were having computer problems.

Voters Taking Action On Climate Change was notified by a local resident who tried to comment directly via the CEAA web page rather than through their site

“The fact that CEAA didn’t deal with this for 19 days doesn’t speak well about government’s concern about meaningful public input to this process.  CEAA either didn’t know the email didn’t work, or knew and didn’t bother to fix the problem.  I guess the former given that they have jumped on it this morning,” said Kevin Washbrook from VTACC.

Screenshot 2015-06-10 17.42.30The CEAA agreed to extend the comment period, which now ends on June 24.

I find the incident reminiscent of the court order Kinder Morgan took out last November, when it tried to keep protesters away from their  work area on Burnaby Mountain. Around 127 people were arrested after crossing the line. Most of them were released after the court discovered the pipeline company was using the wrong GPS coordinates for one of its’ boreholes. The judge explained, “Apparently people have been arrested on the basis of an order that refers to some other property.”

Neither story inspires confidence, which is something BC residents need if they are going to allow potentially dangerous technologies into populated areas.

“We are still asking people to use, so that if CEAA does not keep track we can say at least 700-800 people who commented,” said Washbrook.

The comments go to CEAA, but VTACC keeps a copy and will send cc’s to the Richmond and Delta city councils, as well as local MLAs and MPs.

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