Gazoduq unveiled a preliminary outline of its proposed underground natural gas pipeline of more than 750 kilometers between northeastern Ontario and the Saguenay. In Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, the Preferred Development Zone (ZAP) will extend over 235 km, affecting three RCMs and the city of Saguenay.
The company unveiled the work of the public consultations held in recent weeks, in a statement issued Tuesday night, unveiling first the ZAP, “identified with a desire to minimize social and environmental impacts,” said Gazoduq.
The interior of the zone is an average width of 400 meters and at the end of the process the permanent right of way should be 30 meters.
In its press release, Gazoduq states that 78 percent of the PAZ is on public land and occupies 32 kilometers of permanent agricultural zone. No protected area is found in the projected area and it is learned that a compression station is planned on the territory of Lac-Ashuapmushuan, in the RCM Domaine-du-Roy.
According to data from the Ministry of the Environment of the Fight against climate change, there are 6613 km2 of protected areas in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, which represents a little more than six percent of the total area.
The PAZ also covers areas belonging to Sainte-Hedwidge, Roberval, Chambord, Saint-Francois-de-Sales, Saint-André-du-Lac-Saint-Jean, Métabetchouan-Lac-à-la-Croix, Hébertville, Saguenay and at Lac-Ministuk (Fjord-du-Saguenay RCM).
Gazoduq mentions that the PAZ largely avoids the populated areas that were within the corridor under study. Lakes, catchment and groundwater protection areas and protected areas were taken into consideration during the various meetings with citizens.
During the public consultations held in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean in February, more than 200 people traveled to the Saguenay (Chicoutimi), Alma and Roberval meetings. Aboriginal communities had also been approached early in the process.
The next steps will be to inventory the fauna and flora along the PDA. The various mitigation measures to minimize the impacts of the project will be documented and the file will be submitted to the National Energy Board before the end of 2019, according to forecasts by Gazoduq. The environmental impact study of the company will follow during the same period.
“We are determined that our project will make a significant contribution to the fight against climate change on a global scale, thus enabling Québec to play a leading role in this regard. We are committed to continuing the dialogue with all communities throughout the development of our project to minimize its impacts and maximize local benefits, “said Gazoduq president Louis Bergeron in the statement.