Too many problems with jet fuel proposal
I am writing you today to express my concern over the Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation proposal to send Panamax sized tankers loaded with toxic and highly flammable jet fuel into the Fraser River upstream of the George Massey Tunnel where they will build a marine terminal and tank farm on the South Arm of the Fraser River in Richmond.
Richmond has the most to loose if there is a spill. MLA Terry Lake and MLA Rich Coleman will make a decision on the proposal by Feb 25 so now is the time to write them and tell them what you think.
VAFFC has projected the average frequencies of spills at 6000 liters every 6 years and 120,000 litres every 32 years. In addition a fully loaded tanker will not be able to pass over the Massey Tunnel without hitting it and this puts public safety, fisheries, wildlife and migratory birds at an unacceptable risk. It is for this reason why a 1989 proposal by VAFFC to ship barges of jet fuel into the river was rejected by a federal public review process.
I am concerned that the marine terminal (a likely location for an accident or spill) location less than 400 metres from residential and entertainment commercial space and yet a hazardous footprint study has not been conducted to determine the impact on human safety. Richmond Fire-Rescue has serious concerns and indicated that a new fire hall and fire boat would be required to provide some level of protection. In addition to the un-addressed fire protection, these costs would far out way the property taxes paid by the operation of the facility, resulting in an unfair tax burden on the Richmond taxpayers.
YVR is in the enviable position of being within 50 kilometers of two refineries that already have marine terminals and I feel a safer option than transport of toxic and flammable jet would be a land based pipeline solution to one or both of those refineries.
I feel the economic fallout of a spill could have a significant impact on the tourism, commercial and sport fishing and industries on the Fraser worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Transportation on the Fraser could be interrupted by a marine accident or a spill, fire or explosion that would cost our economy, safety and environment greatly.
I urge you to write to the provincial government today and ask them to reject this proposal and encourage the proponent to develop a much safer and less risky option for the sake of our safety and our environment.