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Biologist questions review

Open letter to Mayor Brodie and Councillors, Re: Proposal by VAFFC to ship jet fuel by tankers and barges into the Fraser River estuary.

Open letter to Mayor Brodie and Councillors,

Re: Proposal by VAFFC to ship jet fuel by tankers and barges into the Fraser River estuary.

As you are aware the Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation has proposed to source local area and offshore jet fuel and ship that fuel up the Fraser River to a point upstream of the Massey Tunnel and offload it at a terminal and store the fuel in a large tank farm on the banks of the river on Richmond's south shoreline.

This proposal is of high risk to our rich and diverse populations of fish and wildlife in the Fraser River estuary, their habitats as well as private and public property and public safety. VAPOR is aware of the opposition the City of Richmond has presented to the various authorities in this poorly thought out proposal.

The project first came to the attention of Richmond citizens when they realized that a pipeline from the above mentioned terminal was to be built across Richmond through residential areas to deliver the jet fuel to YVR.

This is a major issue for the affected neighbourhoods, however; we feel the overall proposal of shipping toxic and flammable jet fuel into the Fraser River subjects Richmond, its citizens and its abundant estuary habitats and life to known and totally unacceptable risks.

The studies commissioned by VAFFC do not properly address the risks posed to the quality of life and the safety of the citizens of Richmond and our surrounding environment.

The proposal largely dismissed any real concern of jet fuel spills into the river or in their acknowledgement of the need for effective land and water based spill response and fire suppression capabilities.

Metro Vancouver Port has indicated that tanker risk studies are required but they are not to be made available until after the BC EAO has completed deliberations on this file.

In 1988, the VAFFC presented a similar proposal to barge jet fuel into the Fraser estuary via the North Arm to Sea Island.

The Federal Environmental Assessment and Review Process rejected that proposal in March 1989 because it posed too great a risk to life in the estuary. Despite that earlier rejection, the airlines that own VAFFC have seen fit to propose an even higher risk project to deliver fuel to YVR.

We appreciate the actions you and council have taken in opposition to this proposal, but we are very concerned that it is still alive and is being reviewed relative to its environmental impact by a questionable environmental review process.

Otto E. Langer Fish Biologist And Aquatic Ecologist Richmond

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