Scientists to study health impacts of LNG plant

February 20, 2024 | CBC News via UVic News 

The health impacts of air pollutants from an LNG project are the focus of a study being led by Vancouver Costal health and four universities, including the University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University, the University of Toronto, and Texas A&M University.

The Woodfibre LNG plant is set to be completed in Squamish by 2027. The plant is a cause of concern for researchers due to the possible impacts that the flaring can have on health. As it is already proven that flaring is harmful to pregnant women, often resulting in babies with lower birth weights, higher mortality rates, and asthma.

However, the company said that according to their original assessment they had met the provincial requirements on air quality and health. Researchers feel that an independent study is needed to see how likely the new plant will flare and how it will impact the greater population.

Dr. Laura Minet, leader of the University of Victoria’s Clean Air Lab is one of the researchers on the project. In an interview, Dr. Minet explained that the project will utilize local airflow and pollution modelling, and data from other LNG export terminals whose flaring data emissions data are available.

Dr. Laura Minet leads UVic’s Clean Air Lab, which is dedicated to improving urban air quality and minimizing people’s exposure to air pollution. Dr. Minet is also an assistant professor in the civil engineering department at UVic. Her area of expertise includes air quality, exposure to air pollution, transportation engineering, vehicle emissions, and dispersion modeling.

If you are interested in learning more about Dr. Laura Minet’s research, it is available on our institutional repository UVicSpace!