The environmental review into the controversial Vancouver Airport Fuel Delivery project has been suspended for a second time.
B.C.’s Environment Minister Terry Lake announced the suspension Monday afternoon, pending the outcome of work underway by the ministry’s “land-based spill preparedness and response and in determining the elements of a world-class marine spill regime.”
And it seems the findings of such work will not become available until well into the summer and long after May’s provincial election.
Lake’s press release said that a “land-based spill" refers to any spill impacting the terrestrial environment, including coastal shorelines, regardless of the source.
While the primary regulatory responsibility for marine spills is federal, B.C., said Lake, does have a significant role to play and would become the lead agency if and when the oil comes ashore.
A consortium of airlines, called VAFFC, has applied for an environmental certificate to barge aviation fuel up the south arm of the Fraser River, off-load it to a marine terminal and storage facility in southeast Richmond and then pipe it parallel to Highway 99 and then across north Richmond into YVR.
The plans have been met with derision and dismay all along by the City of Richmond, Richmond-East MLA Linda Reid and grassroots neighbourhood protest group VAPOR.