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.

Just Posted

Accused Surrey transit cop shooter’s bail hearing set for April

Daon Gordon Glasgow, 35, is accused of shooting Transit Police Constable Josh Harms, 27

House fire in South Surrey

Emergency crews seen racing towards 160 Street and 28 Avenue

White Rock’s Cliff Annable ‘lived a life that mattered’

Hundreds gather to remember affable 71-year-old

FOCUS: New arena, more ice in Surrey – but will it be enough for everyone?

With both rinks to close at North Surrey rec, the result is a net gain of one ice sheet this fall

Pair of men charged in three robberies in Surrey, Delta

Charged are Karmal Singh Grewal, 26, of Vancouver and Gursimran Sahota, 21, of Surrey

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

Horvat scores 16 seconds into OT as Canucks beat Blackhawks 3-2

Pettersson sets rookie scoring record for Vancouver

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Chilliwack grad says modest dress codes don’t protect girls from assault

Sardis alumni was ‘catcalled, harassed, and groped by my male classmates’ despite modest clothing

Most Read

l -->