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Author Topic: BC Minister of Environment Again Suspends the VAFFC Jet Fuel Tanker Project  (Read 748 times)

chris gadsden

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PRESS RELEASE February 25, 2013.
BC Minister of Environment Again Suspends the VAFFC Jet Fuel Tanker Project Review and Decision.
Today VAPOR was informed that the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office’s (BC EAO) environmental assessment of the Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation’s (VAFFC) proposal to send super tankers of toxic and highly flammable jet fuel into the Fraser River has again been halted. This is the 4th delay in the legislated 180 long active review process. The review is now about 750 days old and Minister Lake has indicted that it will now be delayed until late summer i.e., to about day 1000 in the review process.
This does not say anything good about the process that is claimed to be thorough, rigorous and timely and is supposedly harmonized with the Federal Port Metro Vancouver’s review. However, the review seemed disjointed and the federal part of the review seems to be hidden from the public view since this project review began over two years ago.
The latest reason for the suspension is that the BC Government claims it is “creating a world-leading spill response regime” that is to cover land spills and is to identify ‘elements of a world – class marine spill regime’. What that means is unknown at this time since marine based spills are a Federal responsibility. Also these so called “world leading” studies would do absolutely nothing to address the need to keep fuel tankers out of the river and do not relate to the possibility of catastrophic explosions from the tankers or the 80 million litre tank farm on the banks of the Fraser River adjacent to an urban development area.
The reasons for the suspension are confusing and have little bearing on the lack of merit this VAFFC proposal has in terms of environmental and public safety with the information now at hand. The real issue is probably the fact that over 90% of the public are opposed to the VAFFC jet fuel super tankers in the Fraser River project and one of the most outspoken critics of the project (Linda Reid) is a high profile Liberal MLA in Richmond. Going into a provincial election with a possibility of approving this ridiculous project hanging over the head of an unpopular government would be foolish.
Although VAPOR is extremely disappointed with the BC led BC EAO- PMV harmonized review and its lack of transparency and absolute lack of public consultation over the past year, we cannot hide our delight and sense of accomplishment with this latest suspension by Minister Lake. The goal of VAPOR was to have this irresponsible project withdrawn and have the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) airlines go back to an on land pipeline option to bring jet fuel safely to YVR. That would eliminate fuel transport on the Fraser River, the estuary and Burrard Inlet. If that was not possible, it was our secondary goal to see this project delayed until after the provincial election. That latter goal has now been accomplished.
It is sincerely hoped that common sense and better environmental leadership will be shown after the BC provincial election on May 14th, 2013 and the Fraser River can be again be better protected as it was in 1989 when such a similar VAFFC jet fuel transport proposal in the river was soundly rejected.
Also, the BC Government just named salmon as BC’s official fish. Why would they continue to entertain putting super tankers of toxic and flammable jet fuel into BC’s and the world’s greatest salmon river?
It is hoped that VAFFC, Air Canada, Westjet and the other major airlines can now cut their losses and adopt a responsible on land all pipeline option to get fuel from the Chevron Burnaby and Cherry Point WA Refineries directly to YVR. These refineries presently supply 100% of the jet fuel now used at YVR. This land pipeline option
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from local refineries and their fuel handling facilities does offer a long term economic, secure, environmentally friendly and safer fuel supply for YVR - Canada’s key West Coast regional and international airport.
For more information please contact:
Carol Day: 604 240 1986 Otto Langer: 604 274 7655
<carol@catsigns.ca> <ottolanger@telus.net>
.