DeltaPort expansion holds concerns for Ashcroft

Ashcroft Council supports Delta's call for additional assessments.

  • Jan. 14, 2015 6:00 p.m.

Ashcroft Council agreed to support the Corporation of Delta by writing to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency with its own concerns about the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project, requesting that the environmental assessment include a broad geographic review of traffic impacts and an identification of potential mitigation options along the length of the transoportation corridor.

Council received the request from Delta at their Jan. 12 meeting.

According to documents sent by Delta, the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project is a massive three-berth container terminal designed to double the container capacity at Deltaport. It is already the largest container terminal in Canada, and plans to expand from 2.4 to 4.8 million TEUs annually (one rail car is 2 TEU). The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is conducting an environmental assessment of the project through an independent review panel.

A key area of concern for some municipalities, Delta included, is the geographic extent of the study area. Delta contends that Port Metro Vancouver, the project proponent, is seeking to limit the scope of the environmental assessment to land within its jurisdiction which would mean that road, rail and marine traffic impacts beyond the terminal footprint would not be assessed.

They have requested that the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency include a separate section on Municipal Rights and Interests, similar to the section on Aboriginal Rights and Interests that the review panel is required to consider. Delta said that while they fully support this section, it would be beneficial for local governments impacted by Terminal 2 to have a similar section in the Terms of Reference relating to municipal issues and concerns. “We would suggest that this new section should be entitled Municipal Rights and Interests and would include the following elements:

a) An assessment of the impacts of the project on the local and regional transportation system;

b) An assessment of the impacts on municipally-owned land, utilities and statutory rights of way;

c) An assessment of off-terminal facility requirements to support port operations (for example, container storage and stuffing/de-stuffing facilities); and

d) An assessment of the combined impacts of the T2 project with other developments currently taking place, such as the Fraser Surrey Docks coal facility and Tsawwassen First Nation mall development.”

The proposed expansion would also impact Ashcroft Terminal, agreed Mayor Jack Jeyes.

“That sort of impact will go beyond the port,” said Coun. Barbara Roden.