The Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation (VAFFC) was created by 14 airlines to propose a project to ship Jet Fuel on the south arm of the Fraser river to a Marine terminal to be built just east of the George Massey tunnel. The jet fuel would be offloaded at the terminal and then piped to 6 storage tanks each 6 storey’s high. The Fuel would be transported to the Vancouver International airport via a new pipeline along Highway 99.
The province of British Columbia has approved the environmental certificate even though the City of Richmond and the City of Delta has opposed the project. The British Columbia Environmental Office ( BCEAO ) is under the jurisdiction of the Minister of the Environment Mary Polak. the Vancouver Airport Project Opposition for Richmond ( VAPOR ) have opposed the project since 2011. VAPOR has filed a petition in the Supreme Court of British Columbia challenging the decision by the BCEAO and working for a new environmental process that is fair, transparent and one that allows for the public to have meaningful opportunities for expressing their views. RITE Richmond City Council candidate Carol Day is Chair of VAPOR and is one of 4 VAPOR directors to file affidavits in court.
VAPOR will support a jet fuel pipeline on the Highway 99 corridor if it continues to the Cherry Point refinery just over the Canada-USA border. This option was number 8 in the original VAFFC study and has not been presented to the BCEAO.
The Cherry Point refinery is an established successful port with a good safety record. VAPOR feels using this option would eliminate the need for Panamax tankers loaded with Jet Fuel on any part of the Fraser river and could be the logical choice.
Environment Canada wrote on August 17, 2011 in regards to the VAFFC proposal “The project would present a new and unacceptable risk to the locally, nationally and internationally important fish and wildlife populations of the Fraser River Estuary, including migratory birds and species at risk….”
The economic benefits to Richmond from the success of YVR are critical to the local economy. VAPOR has stated its commitment to protecting the Fraser river. RITE Richmond’s Day-Wolfe City Council team will continue to work for a viable and safe alternative to meet the jet fuel needs of the Vancouver International Airport.