Richmond protest group plans rally outside open house

A group protesting the proposed jet fuel plan in Richmond will hold a rally right outside the open house of the controversial plans proponents.

VAPOR (Vancouver Airport Pipeline Opposition for Richmond) hopes the protest outside the East Richmond Community Hall on Cambie Road will attract more than 100 people opposed to the plan proposed by a consortium of airlines.

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The consortium VAFFC (Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation) is hosting an open house Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. for people to view, comment on and ask questions of the different options available for the of a fuel pipeline through Richmond to YVR.

VAFFC wants to barge its own jet fuel up the south arm of the Fraser River, off-load it at a marine terminal in southeast Richmond, before piping it through the city to the airport.

The consortium recently added the option of running the pipe up Highway 99 from the terminal.

VAPORs Carol Day said the protest group tried, without luck, to rent out its own space in the community centre on the same day as the open house.

We werent able to do that, so were going to set up a stand outside and get as many people together as possible to make as much noise as possible, Day said.

And all of our directors will be there and will be going inside to ask a lot of questions of the plan.

Day said VAPORs main objective now is to demand a federal environmental review of the entire plan the project is currently going through a provincial environmental process.

We want all our MPs and MLAs to support us and weve just sent out a declaration to them all, asking they commit to the protection of the Fraser River, she added.

People only have until February 1 to comment on this plan, so time is short.

Anyone wanting to comment on the plan can go to the BCEAO's website at www.eao. gov.bc.ca/pcp/forms/VAFD_form.html.

The consortium has said a new fuel delivery model is vital to keep up with future forecasted demand at the airport and that the current source is outdated and unreliable.

Opponents are concerned about the safety of the Fraser River estuary from fuel spills and say the consortiums main motive is sourcing cheaper fuel.

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