Is a decision imminent on proposed Richmond pipeline and Fraser River jet fuel marine terminal?

South Arm of the Fraser at StevestonWe’ve received a notice that the province may be prepared to make a final decision at any time on a proposal to construct a jet fuel marine terminal on the Fraser River. A pipeline would run through Richmond and connect the Vancouver International airport with the proposed facility on the South Arm of the Fraser (VAFFC Jet Fuel Proposal). The group Vancouver Airport Pipeline Opposition for Richmond (VAPOR) has spent years fighting this project.

VAPOR has an excellent documentary video, photos, a historical timeline and analysis on their website (please see www.vaporbc.com). For general reference, we’ve reproduced a recent press release below. VAPOR believes that there are far better alternatives to the current jet fuel plan. The introduction of Panamax-sized tankers on the river would introduce the risk of jet fuel spills into the estuary. The Fraser is of course a critical salmon spawning river. The Richmond jet fuel pipeline and marine terminal appear to be ‘going under the radar’; the spotlight is on the Enbridge and Kinder Morgan pipelines.

Press Release
January 9, 2013 Richmond, B.C.

Province ready to issue final decision on the VAFFC proposal to ship tankers of toxic and flammable jet fuel into the Fraser River.

VAPOR Society has learned that a select number of BC Cabinet ministers including Environment Minister Lake have received the BC Environmental Assessment Office’s report and recommendation that could allow the Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation (VAFFC) to ship giant quantities of toxic and highly flammable jet fuel in Panamax sized tankers up the Fraser River and over the shallow Massey Tunnel. Then on Richmond’s south shoreline, adjacent to a recreational complex and condominiums they propose to build a marine terminal to unload the fuel into a giant 80 million litre tank farm on the banks of the Fraser River and pipe it across Richmond to the Vancouver International Airport (YVR). This is an unprecedented and irresponsible project and a recent newspaper poll indicated that 92% of the public are opposed to this reckless project.

VAPOR is especially concerned in that over 700 days have now passed in this review (which is legislated to be 180 review days long) and during that time period, the public were largely locked out of the review process. The public was only given an opportunity for a two minute oral presentation and two small openings for written submissions. However the last opportunity for input was a year ago and since then many new studies have been done by VAFFC and the public has been refused any further input into the environmental review and assessment.

The BC EAO process has been non-transparent and not fair to the public interest. The project as proposed creates a great risk to the globally significant Fraser River and its estuary. The salmon and the wildlife of the river are again being subjected to a threat which was rejected in the past. In 1989 a proper federal public review indeed rejected the VAFFC proposal to barge jet fuel into the Fraser River

Its is sincerely hoped that the Christy Clark government can show some responsibility for the environment, property along the river and above all human safety and will not approve this project as proposed. If the project is approved this will set a terrible precedent for the industrialization one of the world’s most significant fish and wildlife habitat areas and will greatly harm our quality of life.

VAPOR has consistently pressed for a land based pipeline option to supply fuel to YVR from secure and safe North American sources. A pipeline directly from the Chevron Refinery in Burnaby (pipeline now in place for 40% of YVR fuel needs) and from the ARCO BP Cherry Point Refinery which now supplies 60% of the fuel to YVR via barges and trucks. A short new pipeline to that refinery would make good economic sense and be a ‘win win’ solution for all involved.

For more information please contact:

Carol Day — President VAPOR Society (contact via http://www.vaporbc.com)

Otto Langer –Fishery Biologist vice Pres. VAPOR (via http://www.vaporbc.com)

South Arm of the Fraser (Steveston)

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