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Jet fuel opponents plan to rally at open house

Opponents of a jet fuel pipeline are planning to rally against the project at a Saturday open house.

"What we want to do is get out as many people as possible to demonstrate to the VAFFC that this isn't getting sold to anybody," said Carol Day, chair of Vancouver Airport Pipeline Opposition for Richmond, or VAPOR.

The Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation is hosting a public information and comment session from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at East Richmond Community Hall (12360 Cambie Rd.). The corporation, a consortium of airlines, is inviting comments on the proposed pipeline route and marine terminal.

Proposed is a pipeline that would travel from a dock near Riverport to the airport. Airlines contend the pipeline is needed to satisfy the growing demand for jet fuel.

The marine terminal—linked to a 80-million litre tank farm—would accommodate Panamax class vessels, capable of shipping jet fuel from as far away as Asia.

Project director Adrian Pollard said the focus of Saturday's session is on the routing of the pipeline, but representatives will be available to discuss other aspects of the project.

The proponent has suggested a route along either Highway 99, No. 5 Road or Shell Road.

"We are also seeking input from the community on potential routing that we would offer the city to connect their trail system in the vicinity of our proposed marine terminal," said Pollard. "We look forward to talking with people on Saturday and receiving their input."

The B.C. Environmental Assessment Office is currently reviewing the proposal. In this latest comment period, the office has already yielded numerous letters opposing the project.

"I look out on the Fraser River every day. It is the home of one of this region's most valuable resources and we need to keep it clean and habitable. The risk of contamination is not worth the convenience of this pipeline," wrote Alaina Thebault in her submission.

Comments can be submitted at Saturday's open house, or directly to the Environmental Assessment Office at eao.gov.bc.ca until Feb. 1.

A decision by provincial ministers is expected by June.

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