PMV seeks more health info on coal terminal proposal

METRO VANCOUVER – Port Metro Vancouver has requested more information from Fraser Surrey Docks (FSD) about the proposed coal transfer facility following concerns raised by the public and officials.

The FSD coal transfer facility would see an increase of up to 320 coal trains passing through the communities of White Rock, Surrey and Delta, if approved.

The announcement comes nearly three months after FSD released its environmental-impact assessment (EIA), which municipalities, health officials and members of the public criticized for not including any impacts the project might have on human health along the proposed route.

“PMV continues to review the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) submitted by Fraser Surrey Docks in November 2013, and has identified areas that require further information, particularly around the assessment of the potential effects of the project on human health,” reads a release by PMV.

“Once PMV receives the final documentation from Fraser Surrey Docks, we will take this information, in addition to comments received to date and all other documents received, into consideration as part of the Project Review Process. A decision on the Project Permit will be made once this project review is complete.”

In a release, Kevin Washbrook of Voters Taking Action on Climate Change said that while it was appreciated that PMV was responding to public concerns over the health impacts of the project, they would still like to see the proposal rejected.

“Our overriding concern remains the same: the proposal is incompatible with what needs to be done to avoid runaway climate change,” said Washbrook. “The province of B.C. banned thermal coal electricity generation in 2007 because of its climate impacts. Today’s B.C. government promotes LNG exports to help Asian countries reduce the use of thermal coal for the same reason. The Fraser Surrey Docks project brings minimal benefit to B.C. and puts our future at risk. It should be cancelled.”