Latest LNG hurdle: B.C. coalition inks declaration to protect salmon habitat

PRINCE RUPERT, B.C. -- A declaration to protect what environmentalists say is crucial salmon habitat in northwestern British Columbia could be the latest hurdle for development of a liquefied natural gas plant near Prince Rupert.

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A coalition of indigenous leaders, politicians and others has signed a declaration to permanently protect Lelu Island and the nearby Flora Bank from industrial development.

The region at the mouth of the Skeena River, is considered vital to the ecosystem of B.C.'s second-largest salmon-bearing waterway.

Petronas, the Malaysian-owned oil and gas giant, hopes to develop a $36 billion liquefied natural gas facility on the island, but Lax Kw'alaams hereditary Chief Yahaan says support to stop the project is overwhelming.

The declaration to protect Lelu Island and its surroundings came at the end of a weekend summit in Prince Rupert, attended by more than 300 hereditary and elected First Nations leaders, scientists, politicians, fishermen and others.

Earlier this month, Petronas said that some projects will be deferred and expenses will be cut by as much as US$11.4 billion.



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