Jet fuel pipeline unites Richmond

At its April 26 meeting, Richmond council voted on two resolutions that—if passed—would show:

  • that they are strongly opposed to a new jet-fuel offloading facility and pipeline and to more jet fuel trucks on city streets (heading to YVR) and
  • that they want better opportunities for public input, full disclosure of the proponent’s analysis, and “a discussion and analysis of the options rather than the assertion of one option.”

(Note: For background analysis of the Vancouver Airport Fuel Delivery Project, see the “Jet fuel pipeline proposal” post, which is right below this one.)

It was not even close. Coun. Harold Steves, who calls the terminal a “tanker port,” expressed concerns about the environment, the effect on farmland, and the danger of spills in residential areas. Coun. Sue Halsey-Brandt brought up how the existing pipeline is not being used to capacity. (It appears that the Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation prefers not to have to use a pipeline owned by Kinder Morgan, but that’s the companies’ problem to work out.) Mayor Malcolm Brodie said he had not met a single person in favour of the new pipeline. Everyone agreed that the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) consultation process has been inadequate so far.  The resolutions passed unanimously.

It was the leadoff story in the 11 p.m. Global news soon afterward, so the message got spread widely quickly. The City of Richmond will now be informing a whole range of stakeholders about its position.

The laws don’t allow the City much direct control over the pipeline, but council working together is a powerful force, and it will succeed.

As the “Jet fuel pipeline proposal” post states,” these posts are  not directly about the Garden City Lands, but they are relevant because the pipeline is another environmental issue in which financial benefit for powerful parties came far ahead of environmental, agricultural, and livable-community considerations. The change is welcome.

Update nine hours later: Today’s Vancouver Sun reports “Abbotsford, Bellingham airports move ahead with expansion plans.” Those airport expansions should improve the potential for disaster response if and when Metro Vancouver is hit with a natural or human-made disaster, and they would reduce YVR’s future fuel needs.


2012 update: A citizen’s group called VAPOR is now taking a leading role on this issue. Also read other articles on this blog on this topic.

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