Why is LNG a Health Hazard?
Scientists say controlling methane is one of the most effective options for slowing runaway climate change today, and preventing more deadly wildfires, smoke events, heat waves and flooding. Extensive methane leakage along the LNG supply chain and greenhouse gases produced when LNG is burned make it no better than coal in addressing the climate crisis.
Canada has committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, while BC has committed to reducing its emissions by 40% by 2030, and achieve net-zero by 2050. If BC continues to support and subsidise the LNG industry, it will be virtually impossible for us to meet our targets.
Fracking operations and natural gas combustion, whether indoors or outdoors, release harmful air pollutants, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particulate matter. Exposure to these pollutants in different settings has been linked to several health problems, including childhood asthma, bronchitis, cardiovascular disease, premature death, and lung and other cancers. Note that indoor air pollution risks are identical whether methane is derived from fossil gas or renewable natural gas (RNG).
The fracking process involves injecting large volumes of water, chemicals, and sand deep into the ground to fracture rock and extract fossil gas. During its lifetime, each fracking well can consume over 10,000,000 litres of clean water, the majority of which is removed permanently from the water cycle. As climate change worsens drought and depletes glacial reservoirs, freshwater will become an increasingly precious resource. There are also well-documented cases of water contamination, both through surface spills and underground migration, which can pose serious risks to drinking water sources.
Communities located in proximity to and downstream of fracking sites experience myriad adverse effects on mental and physical health, as well as social cohesion. Noise, vibration and light pollution, and high volumes of truck traffic and dust associated with fracking operations, impair sleep and quality of life in quiet rural and agricultural communities. Increased rates of preterm births, low birth weights, and neurological and developmental disorders in children, childhood leukaemia and respiratory disease can burden local health systems.
We acknowledge that our advocacy on LNG is preceded by work that Indigenous peoples have been leading and continue to lead across Turtle Island. We are thankful to live, work and organize on the ancestral, traditional and unceded territories of Indigenous peoples across this province. To contact us please email: firstname.lastname@example.org