City steps up war on jet fuel pipeline

A 15-kilometre pipeline will snake through Richmond if B.C. government officials approve.  -
A 15-kilometre pipeline will snake through Richmond if B.C. government officials approve.
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Civic politicians are stepping up their assault against a controversial gas pipeline that would cross Lulu Island and supply jets at Vancouver International Airport.

Coun. Sue Halsey-Brandt raised the issue again Monday, a week after city council approved comments for the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office, which is reviewing the proposal.

"We've opposed this since its inception...but we haven't been very clear with the route that would most benefit Richmond," said Halsey-Brandt.

City council agreed to clarify its preference—that the existing pipeline be upgraded, if necessary, or that jet fuel be barged directly to Sea Island.

Halsey-Brandt said now city council needs to meet with Richmond's three Liberal MLAs to stop the plan.

Despite agreeing with his council colleague, Coun. Bill McNulty questioned what a meeting would accomplish.

"We don't want the line on the island at all. I have a feeling it will be imposed on us anyway, one way or another."

A growing legion of residents are opposed to the project, according to public comments on the Environmental Assessment Office website.

Richmond also has support from former Delta-Richmond East MP John Cummins, who said in a letter he also has concerns.

"The position taken by the City of Richmond has my full support. There can be no room for complacency. It is always incumbent upon us all to ensure the environmental health and safety of our communities."

The Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation is proposing to build a 15-kilometre jet fuel pipeline connecting the airport with a new fuel receiving facility in the South Arm near Riverport.

Project proponents say the new pipeline is needed to satisfy the airport's increasing thirst for jet fuel—currently supplied by a pipeline that travels from the Chevron refinery in North Burnaby through North Richmond. As many as 25 trucks per day deliver the rest of the fuel to the airport from Washington State.

Provincial ministers are scheduled to decide the fate of the project by Oct. 1.

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