The Editor, The proposed 80-million-litre jet fuel facility is getting closer to reality.
The government has announced it will make a decision by Dec. 24 as to whether it passes their so-called "environmental review."
Even more alarming than the huge tank farm (for which Richmond does not have adequate fire protection facilities in the case of an explosion), there is the even bigger concern with the panamex super tankers that will ply the South Fraser.
As you walk, jog or bike along the Fraser, you will have your view obstructed by these huge tankers carrying their toxic and highly flammable cargo up the Fraser to the off-loading facility, which will be just off Silver City.
The proponent's own documentation promises there will be spills, that they are inevitable.
So why make an announcement so close to Christmas? Of course they are hoping we all won't notice. That is a common trick for disseminating bad news. It is a widely unpopular proposal: in a Vancouver Sun poll on Jan. 6, 2012, 79 per cent were outright opposed; in a Georgia Strait poll Jan. 19, 2012, 83 per cent were opposed.
We are not hopeful the government will make a decision that protects the estuary, with the pitiful record of the BC Environmental Assessment Office (BCEAO).
In an article about the BCEAO, the Vancouver Sun reported, "Since 1995, the office has rejected outright only one project."
The Auditor General at the time, John Doyle, noted in his report, "Rather than meet its mandate to oversee the implementation of such approved projects, B.C.'s Environmental Assessment Office often delegates that role to other ministries and does not formally track certified project conditions and commitments for compliance."
Can we trust this government with safe guarding the Fraser Estuary? I think not.
I think there is big business involved and little players like salmon take back seat rows. At this point, we continue to ask the public to make their voices heard, either through your local MLA, or to the Minister of the Environment, Mary Polak.
It is our only hope that common sense will prevail.
Polak's contacts are firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-514-8206.
Director of VAPOR