In the last VESG online newsletter, we reported on hundreds protesting against the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) closed door decision-making on the proposed coal port that would make Vancouver the largest exporter in North America of the dirtiest of fossil fuels. Organizers of the protests argue that the VFPA has failed to protect the public interest as it refuses to address the full impacts or conduct adequate public hearings on proposed coal export expansion. Citizens are now calling on the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority to make public the comments received in response to their “internal” Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as an important measure in the interests of transparency.
Critics argue that this would be one corrective to the process involved in developing the EIA which was flawed in various critical aspects, including failure to include input from key stakeholders as well as lack of transparency. One organization excluded from the process, the local Health Authority, has issued a scathing critique saying that the EIA fails to meet even the basic requirements of a proper review. Among their key points is that the assessment appears to be a rehash of existing studies. It doesn’t address air quality impacts from the time the coal crosses the U.S. border by rail as it had promised. It doesn’t deal with potential impacts of coal transport in open barges to Texada for transfer to ocean going vessel. Most importantly, the EIA does not address climate change, the single most important impact related to the proposed export of U.S. thermal coal from Metro Vancouver. Below are a number of articles, documents and key websites relating to this matter.
Visit http://realporthearings.org/ to review critiques of the coal export EIA — including the Health Authorities’ response — and send your own comments to the Port Authority to ask them to scrap this flawed process and start over.
Tuesday November 26: North Vancouver Public Forum on the Neptune Terminal Expansion. Communities and Coal has been invited to speak about their experience organizing a community and fighting the Fraser Surrey Docks proposal. It is from 7:30 – 9:30 pm (145 1st Street W, North Vancouver – John Braithwaite Community Centre). Main speakers are Dr. Frank James MD, and Kevin Washbrook (Voters Taking Action on Climate Change).