The Fight To Keep Coal From Fraser Surrey Docks

By Roy L Hales

As the people of Washington and Oregon turn their back on new coal port proposals, producers have turned to British Columbia. Neptune Terminals’ coal port capacity, in North Vancouver,  was doubled, without any public consultation and the city’s request for a health impact assessment was ignored. Resistance to the proposed coal terminal at Fraser Surrey docks was more determined. The  Port Authority carried out assessments before approving the project, but there has been grounds for believing the project was decided upon long before the  official outcome. Ecojustice has undertaken this case on behalf of Voters Taking Action Against Climate Change and Communities and Coal. This morning I’m interviewing Ecojustice lawyer Karen Campbell about the fight to keep coal from Fraser Surrey Docks

Here are some of the related opinions that others have said about this case:

“We believe that the Port was biased with their project review process and from the very beginning had every intention of approving this project.”  –  Paula Williams, Director of Communities and Coal.

“Plans to build a new coal port in Surrey make no sense, given the urgent need to reduce use of the fossil fuels that cause climate change.” – Kevin Washbrook, director with Voters Taking Action on Climate Change.

The  environmental assessment was “primarily a repackaging of work previously done by other consultants” that does not “deal with the full scope of the project” or “meet even the most basic requirements of a health impact assessment.” – BC’s chief medical health officers Dr. Patricia Daly and Dr. Paul Van Buynder (who were not asked to comment on the subsequent health assessment).

“Over and over again we decisions being made by bodies who are not independent. Port Metro Vancouver is conducting this environmental assessment. The Majority of Directors on Port Metro Vancouver are appointed by the very companies that stand to economically benefit from these decisions. And so here you have a Board of Directors, appointed by the companies that us in charge of the environmental assessment to determine if they are going to make more money.” – Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan

Photo Credit: Got Coal by Alan Levine via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)