Surrey coal port opponents vow to keep fighting

Petition delivered Tuesday at Port Metro Vancouver AGM

Opponents of a planned coal export terminal on the Fraser River are vowing to keep the fight going.

They made that clear June 2 at Port Metro Vancouver’s annual general meeting, where Paula Williams, organizer for the group Communities and Coal, presented a petition opposing the plan by Fraser Surrey Docks to load coal onto ships in the river.

“There is widespread opposition to your project,” states the petition to Fraser Surrey Docks’ CEO signed by more than 3,000 people and endorsed by 50 businesses and organizations. “We urge you to abandon plans for this coal port and seek a different path forward.”

It reiterates concerns about more coal trains rolling through White Rock, Delta and Surrey, as well as global warming impacts from the eventual burning of the coal overseas.

The letter also repeats criticisms of the port’s failure to ensure a health impact assessment was conducted to the satisfaction of medical health officer

Fraser Surrey Docks announced last month it’s now proposing to load the coal directly to ships rather than first barging it to Texada Island.

Two court challenges are underway against the project.

In a separate action, Fraser Surrey Docks is challenging Metro Vancouver’s power to regulate regional air quality, arguing it doesn’t have jurisdiction on federal port lands.

That case was to go to trial this month but has been adjourned, likely until early 2016.

Port officials approved the project last summer.

 

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