Demonstrators outside Port Metro Vancouver offices in downtown Vancouver Tuesday.

Surrey coal terminal deadline passes amid protests

Port Metro Vancouver could make swift decision allowing increased coal exports

A contentious coal export proposal in Surrey faced more opposition protests and a call for an inter-agency review as a new deadline for public comments on the project ended Tuesday.

Port Metro Vancouver could make a decision at any time on the application by Fraser Surrey Docks to export up to four million tonnes a year of coal, which would come by train through White Rock, Surrey and Delta, and go by barge down the Fraser River and north to a transshipment terminal at Texada Island.

Critics staged a silent vigil at the port authority offices Tuesday afternoon as the deadline passed for comments on an environmental impact assessment, which has been widely criticized as inadequate.

That followed a scuffle with staff at the port offices Monday when masked protesters dressed as Santas attempted to deliver lumps of coal.

Delta council voted Monday to lead an independent inter-agency review of the coal transfer facility, although it’s unclear if it will be approved before such a review gets off the ground.

The municipality will seek participation by the health and environment ministries of both the provincial and federal governments, as well as Metro Vancouver and the cities of Surrey, White Rock and New Westminster.

The environmental review commissioned by Fraser Surrey Docks found no adverse impacts to the environment or human health.

Critics say it didn’t go far enough in considering potential risks from coal dust and other impacts along the BNSF railway line, or the climate change impacts when the U.S. thermal coal is burned in Asia.

“There’s no support for this,” anti-coal activist Kevin Washbrook said. “It’s up to the port to show how it’s going to address the concerns.”

He said campaigners will turn the heat up on the provincial government in the new year, adding health minister Terry Lake has not backed up objections raised by Lower Mainland medical health officers.

Washbrook also said it’s hypocritical for the province to say it can export liquefied natural gas to help wean China off of burning coal, when it can simply block more coal exports from B.C. right now.

The extra coal to be shipped is a 7.5 per cent increase over current coal shipments.

Surrey North Delta Leader

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

Just Posted

Rainfall warning says significant showers forecast for entire region

Rain moving across Howe Sound, The Fraser Valley and northern parts of Metro Vancouver this morning.

Two Surrey women win BC Sports Hall of Fame awards for inspired service

Jane Blaine and Wendy Pattenden recognized during virtual summit

OUR VIEW: Way too many Surrey COVID-19 cases

We all need to take this threat seriously

Horgan says Surrey mayor opened ‘hornets’ nest’ with Surrey policing transition

Surrey election battle heating up over Doug McCallum’s controversial cop transition

Semiahmoo Bottle Depot part of hybrid-electic compaction truck pilot program

Return-It launches program at 16 B.C. bottle depots with aim to reduce emissions

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

‘Won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving:’ Trudeau says COVID-19 2nd wave underway

In all, COVID-19 has killed about 9,250 people in Canada

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Return-It depots change beverage container deposits from 20 to 10 cents

Change will be implemented on Oct. 1, with a transition period being held until Oct. 11

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Young man assaulted, left for 12 hours until help called in Vancouver’s Strathcona Park

Vancouver police are looking to identify the victim as they investigate an assault on Monday evening

Most Read