Monday, October 5, 2009

BC government announces reforms in wake of pipeline bombings

DAWSON CREEK, B.C. - With six unsolved bombing attacks targeting the gas pipeline industry in northeastern B.C., the province has announced a new program to resolve community concerns about traffic, noise, dust and environmental issues linked to the rapidly growing industry.
Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Blair Lekstrom announced a package of programs meant to improve relations between the industry and residents.
“While the industry brings jobs, infrastructure and economic development to the area, it also creates increased traffic, dust, noise, environmental and maintenance concerns,” Lekstrom said in a news release announcing the changes.
“These programs and regulations will help to address these issues that are so important to residents….”
But the minister was adamant that the changes - which will reduce the controversial practice of flaring, or burning off, of fuel - are not a response to the violent tactics of the bomber.
“We’ve been working on this long before whoever is responsible for those bombings began their crazy actions, so this is not a reaction to any of that. There was no intent to try and address whatever this crazy person is trying to accomplish. This has been in the works for some time,” Lekstrom said in a telephone interview from his northeastern B.C. riding.
There have been six bombings since last October in the area of Tomslake, B.C., located about 1,200 kilometers northeast of Vancouver near the Alberta boundary. All of the bombings have targeted Calgary-based EnCana. The last two occurred in July.

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