Letters: Protecting Squamish water
Posted on August 22, 2016
June 1, 2016
Squamish resident Star Morris posed a number of questions about the proposed location for our new natural gas compressor station in her May 19 letter to the editor, “Letter: Consider the future of water in Squamish” that we’d like to address.
We took many factors into account when selecting the Mount Mulligan site and believe it’s the best option to balance minimizing local impacts, community feedback, environmental interests and a number of other factors. It’s worth noting the location was chosen based on specific feedback from members of the community and Squamish Nation. It’s located 1.8 kilometres from the nearest residence in Squamish, at approximately 1,400 feet elevation and on the other side of a bluff.
We chose the site because it’s located on land that is actively used as a woodlot, which will minimize environmental impacts. The site also has existing forestry road access, which we will upgrade, so we can ensure access and maintain safe operations.
As Gary Buxton noted in the District of Squamish’s response letter (May 26), the Mount Mulligan site is located within the Stawamus River watershed, where the district has one of its emergency backup surface water supplies.
We share Ms. Morris’s passion for protecting Squamish’s groundwater supplies; our best management practices and mitigation measures will ensure the Stawamus River watershed is protected during normal operations of our natural gas pipeline and compressor station, and if there is ever an emergency.
Our existing natural gas pipeline that provides service to more than 108,000 customers in Squamish, Whistler, the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island is routed through the Coquitlam watershed. It has safely operated without a single issue or incident for more than 25 years because of our strong commitment to safe operations, environmental stewardship and emergency preparedness.
As part of the design process, we’re evaluating two possible fire suppression systems for the Mount Mulligan compressor station. The first is a nitrogen/water system. The other uses a closed loop foam suppression system meaning that, if deployed, the foam is captured and disposed of safely and will not be released to the environment.
We respect that some residents still have concerns and questions about our project and in particular the Mount Mulligan compressor station. We’ll respond to all questions.
FortisBC Community Relations Manager