Decision on Fraser River tankers could land soon, Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation says
The consortium that wants to deliver jet fuel to Vancouver International Airport via tankers on the Fraser River expects to know soon if the project is a go.
“We’re expecting a decision to be made on the environmental certificate within, hopefully, the next couple of weeks,” Adrian Pollard of the Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation told the Straight by phone on January 14.
Pollard is the project director of the estimated $70-million to $100-million plane-fuel delivery system that would build a 15-kilometre pipeline across Richmond. In addition to tankers and a pipeline, the setup involves an 80-million-litre aviation-fuel tank farm situated on the south arm of the Fraser River.
The proposal has undergone a harmonized provincial and federal review by the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office. The VAFFC, which consists of a group of commercial airlines, is awaiting a decision from the B.C. ministries of environment and energy as well as the federally accountable Port Metro Vancouver on the B.C. EAO’s report, according to Pollard.
“There’s a lot of information in the news today about pipelines and tankers and so on,” Pollard said about some of the more controversial plans to build new tar-sands and shale-gas pipelines in B.C., projects that environmental groups have focused on.
“But we think with our analysis, our design, the fact that this is jet fuel, this project carries a very high degree of safety with it,” Pollard maintained.
Independent Delta South MLA Vicki Huntington hopes that the B.C. EAO indicates in its report that the “risks are too high and that a spill…into the Fraser estuary is just too dangerous to contemplate”.
“I understand the airport wants a more efficient fuel-delivery system, but these industrialists cannot continue to threaten the viability of the Fraser estuary,” Huntington told the Straight by phone.
Jim Ronback of the citizen-driven group Vancouver Airport Pipeline Opposition for Richmond asserted in a phone interview with the Straight that putting tankers on the river isn’t necessary to service the fuel requirements of YVR.
Neither Minister of Environment Terry Lake nor the B.C. NDP granted an interview to the Straight before deadline.