Port Metro Vancouver says additional coal trains coming through White Rock and South Surrey would be sprayed down with an anti-dust agent

Coal critics urge province to block new Surrey terminal

Climate change, marine impacts stressed by opponents as Dec. 17 public comment deadline nears

A coalition of coal export opponents on Thursday denounced an environmental review of a planned new terminal at Fraser Surrey Docks and urged the province to help dissuade Port Metro Vancouver from quickly giving the project the green light.

The deadline for comments on the environmental impact assessment is Dec. 17 and critics fear the port will make a decision soon after.

“Municipalities representing over a million people are either opposed to this or, at a minimum, want a comprehensive health assessment,” Communities and Coal campaigner Paula Williams said. “It would be irresponsible for the port to proceed and approve this proposal.”

Tyee Bridge of the group Fraser Riverkeeper said coal barges heading down the Fraser River and across Georgia Strait would pass through critical rearing habitat for endangered white sturgeon.

“This report doesn’t tell us how much coal is going to escape and it doesn’t contemplate any of the impacts on marine habitat,” Bridge said.

Other marine life, including shellfish and the oysters of Fanny Bay, could be threatened, he suggested.

Among the academics marshalled to the cause by environmental campaigners is SFU sustainable energy professor Mark Jaccard, who helped design B.C.’s climate change policy under Premier Gordon Campbell.

Jaccard said in a statement the EIA is “utterly inadequate” because it fails to consider climate change impacts, which Port Metro Vancouver deems beyond its jurisdiction.

“We should not be aiding and abetting the rapid expansion of havoc-creating carbon pollution here or abroad by increasing our production and shipping of coal,” he said.

Tim Takaro, another professor who stressed coal exports will contribute to runaway climate change, said new coal terminals are being blocked along the U.S. west coast.

Chief medical health officers from Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health have also called the environmental review inadequate, citing various flaws and insufficient consideration of potential health impacts from coal dust.

Port Metro Vancouver issued a statement saying proponent Fraser Surrey Docks has addressed the fugitive dust issue by altering the planned terminal and ensuring anti-dust treatment of train cars that pass through White Rock and South Surrey.

“Coal is a commodity that is already handled in the port and has been handled safely for decades,” it said, noting the additional coal to be shipped through the Surrey terminal equates to a 7.5 per cent increase in the port’s coal-handling capacity.

The environmental assessment found coal dust poses no adverse risk of health effects along the BNSF railway or near the terminal.

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Outdoor AED unit in Surrey among the first in B.C.

SaveStation cabinet is alarmed and monitored – and hasn’t been used yet

Trade sends Surrey NHLer Brenden Dillon to Washington

‘We felt it was important for us to add a player of his caliber to our defensive group,’ says Caps GM

Suspect in Surrey forcible confinement arrested in Toronto

Constable Richard Wright, of the Surrey RCMP, said William Daniels-Sey was arrested on Feb. 16

Despite evacuation, coronavirus-quarantined White Rock couple still two weeks from home

Government chartered plane to help cruising Canadians return from Japan

ZYTARUK: Trudeau needs to stop dithering and fix blockade crisis

Trudeau noted Canadians are asking themselves, “What is happening in this country?” He’s got that right

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Nanaimo man wins lotto, plans to buy $16,000 fridge

Curtis Wright a winner in Lotto 6/49 draw

Most Read