Group urges Richmond council to oppose pipeline

Opponents of a pipeline through Richmond are hoping council will change its mind on the issue at Monday’s council meeting.

Vapor, the local group opposed to a new pipeline through Richmond that will deliver jet fuel to the airport, is joining up with Fraser Voices in a last-ditch attempt to convince council to reject access on city road right-of-ways for the pipeline as well as permits for a terminal and tank farm.

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They have sent a letter to mayor and council urging them to vote against the pipeline after a slim majority supported it at last week’s committee meeting.

The Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation (VAFFC) has applied for access to certain unopened roadways as well as a development permit for the marine terminal facility on Williams Road.

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie said council has consistently opposed this pipeline, but he believes the city has lost the fight now that other permits in are in place, and should accept the benefits being offered.

“They will be lost if we stand on principle and reject the access agreement and development permit,” he said.  

He said the funds being offered by VAFFC are “almost irrelevant;” rather what is more important are the better environmental protections and better routing.

Brodie agreed with Vapor that the consultation with the public on the 13-kilometre pipeline was a “joke.” Once, he attended a public open house and there wasn’t even any paper to write comments on.

“It was a pretext of consultation as far as I was concerned,” he said.

In addition to its criticism of the consultation process, Vapor and Fraser Voices are concerned with the barging in of fuel along the Fraser River and the potential for a spill.

“This is a project of VAFFC and 34 elite and profit producing airlines to bring billions of litres of highly flammable and toxic jet fuel directly into the heart of the Fraser River estuary and Richmond by barge and super tankers,” the letter states.

Vapor, in its letter, also question whether the current Kinder Morgan pipeline, coming from a refinery in Burnaby, is actually at full capacity and whether this claim by VAFFC has been verified by the city. The city didn’t respond to Richmond News queries on the capacity issue.

Both the access agreement and the development permit will be before council on Monday evening for final approval.

 

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