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

Halloween Calendar

Family friendly events happening around Surrey

Surrey landlord’s petition to overturn RTB decision fails

Case involved former tenant evicted from basement suite on grounds his landlord needed it for family

SURREY EVENTS: ‘Classic Scary Movie Marathon’ for Halloween, and more

Concerts, plays, fundraisers and other events in our weekly guide for Surrey

PHOTOS: ‘Young at Heart’ seniors sing and dance again in Surrey ‘bursary show’

The Vaudevillians on Surrey Arts Centre’s main stage Nov. 2-3

Rick Hansen Foundation gives Surrey $105K to make washrooms more accessible

The grants will be used for accessibility upgrades at eight civic sites across the city

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Scholars say religious vaccine objections can’t be traced to Biblical sources

Vaccinations are a requirement to attend class in Ontario and New Brunswick, while B.C. launched a demand this fall

ELECTION 2019: How would the major parties address Canada’s housing crisis?

Promises include speculation taxes, more affordable housing, and declaring housing a human right

Workers at four Vancouver hotels ratify contract with higher wages, job security

Unite Here Local 40 president Zailda Chan says it’s the first hotel strike in Vancouver in nearly two decades

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

Most Read