VAPOR has learned that the Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation (VAFFC) has recently submitted an addendum to the BC Environmental Assessment Office for review. The public has been given from January 11 to February 1, 2012 to comment on this amendment. The proposal was to ship large quantities of toxic and flammable jet fuel to the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) on barges and large Panamax tankers into the Fraser River and its estuary, build an offloading terminal upstream of the Massey Tunnel and store the jet fuel in a large tank farm on the banks of the estuary near the Riverport recreational and the Riverside condominium projects. They then are to deliver the jet fuel in a 15 km pipeline across Richmond through farmland and residential neighbourhoods to YVR.
VAFFC has given in to endless public objections to one part of this overall poorly thought out proposal and now wants to amend their application. The addendum submitted by VAFFC is only for the option of relocating and installing the pipeline along Hwy 99 to avoid it going through residential areas of Richmond They now say this is their preferred choice but without relinquishing any other unacceptable options through Richmond.
All the other highly unacceptable aspects of their proposal such as the frequent oil tanker traffic to an offloading terminal and storage in a tank farm which poses a great risk to the Fraser River and its estuary, the large populations of fish and wildlife and property and public safety has been left unmodified. This is most unfortunate.
VAPOR is extremely disappointed with this inadequate amendment which does not eliminate jet fuel tanker traffic on the Fraser River still results in a totally unacceptable proposal. We again ask where is the leadership in Air Canada, Westjet, Air China, KLM and Lufthansa and over 20 other airlines at YVR that own the fuel corporation, VAFFC, that would ignore their own environmental policies and stubbornly refuse to accept that the transporting and handling of giant quantities of toxic and flammable jet fuel via giant tankers in the Fraser River is highly hazardous to public safety and where a major incident such as a collision, explosion, fire, or spill can endanger human life and irrevocably damage and pollute the fragile environment and the human habitat along the Fraser River estuary and its shores for decades?
We are also disappointed that the Federal government including Environment Canada, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Transport Canada and the Vancouver Port Authority have shown poor environmental leadership and that has allowed this dangerous proposal with risks of very high consequence to public safety and the environment during its 60 year life to reach this stage in that it affects major federal mandates including the fishery, wildlife, ship transport, navigation, river pilotage and a federal airport and harbour. Why has this project been the subject of a voluntary environmental review by the BC Environmental Assessment Office when a similar proposal by the same fuel corporation some 22 years ago was rejected by a properly constituted federal environmental review process.
VAPOR will now step up its campaign to have the Cities of Vancouver, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey join the City of Richmond in opposing this most hazardous project with unacceptable risks to public safety and the environment… Also VAPOR has had Viki Huntington, a Delta independent MLA, present a VAPOR petition of over 5500 names to the BC Legislative Assembly opposing this project. Also Fin Donnelly, the NDP MP from New Westminster will be presenting this brief to the House of Commons in Ottawa.
VAPOR is very disappointed in the lack of political leadership by the BC Liberals and the Federal Conservatives in allowing this dangerous proposal to reach this stage especially when safer and more environmentally friendly options are available. We continue to advocate a more secure and environmentally friendly and safer option to deliver fuel to YVR. It is strongly recommended that the airlines direct their fuel corporation, VAFFC, to maintain fuel supplies from the Burnaby Chevron refinery by means of an existing pipeline and the rest of their jet fuel that they now get from the ARCO Ferndale refinery in Washington State be now transported to YVR by a pipeline from that refinery directly to YVR.
The above option would eliminate all present and future fuel transport on barges and tankers into the Fraser River and Burrard Inlet and be much safer and cheaper to operate over the long term. The public and local governments and First nations are encouraged to ally themselves with VAPOR to push for an environmentally responsible Vancouver International Airport and its client airlines that are supplied by a safer, more environmentally friendly and secure pipeline only based system of delivering fuel to YVR. VAFFC is now willing to build a pipeline across Richmond along Highway 99. We simply ask that they now extend that pipeline to Ferndale for another short 60 km to achieve a best solution for everyone involved.
For further information please contact www.vaporbc.com or call:
Carol Day VAPOR Chair 604 240-1986
Otto Langer Co-Chair 604 274-7655
James Ronback 604 948-1589
In the Fraser Valley:
Judy Williams 604 856-9598