Vancouver International Airport

Proposed Airport Fuel Delivery System

While the City of Richmond has and will continue to provide comments on this project, it does not have any regulatory power with regard to pipeline projects, such as this, beyond development and building permitting on private lands.

 12 December 2013

Statement from Mayor Malcolm Brodie on approval of Vancouver Airport Fuel Delivery Project

We need to study the decision from the Province in detail before we can comment substantively on the reasons and conditions for approval of the Environmental Assessment Certificate. However, Richmond is very disappointed with this decision.

Richmond Council has been opposed to this project from the outset and the general public has also expressed its strong concerns and opposition to the project as proposed.

We believe the BC Environmental Assessment Office process was flawed. Only one option was reviewed in the EAO process, even though there are many other options to address the airlines’ fuel needs. The community expects more than such a single-minded approach to an issue of this magnitude.

To be clear, the City of Richmond acknowledges the need for the airlines to have a reliable and adequate fuel delivery system. However, the assumptions used to justify this project are questionable. This project is supposed to meet the needs of the airlines’ for the next 50 years. But no one can accurately predict the long-terms needs of the airline industry over that time frame. What will the industry look like in 50 years? What fuels will be used? How much fuel capacity will be needed?  The City of Richmond does not believe the current projections are realistic or that the project is actually required at this time. At any rate, the project is certainly not required in the short term which gives time to seek a workable solution, rather than rushing to proceed with this option now when so many questions remain unanswered.

We remain unconvinced by the assessment that the environmental and safety risks for this project are low. There may be low probability of an incident occurring, but as has been seen in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere it only takes one major incident to happen and the impact to the environment and public safety could be catastrophic.

The City of Richmond remains prepared to work with the Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation and other stakeholders to jointly seek a sustainable solution that is satisfactory to all parties and address economic, environmental and social concerns in a full, open process.

To conclude, the City will take time to study the Province’s decision and conditions in more detail and will make further comment when that process is concluded.


Latest Update from Richmond City Council

At the December 2, 2013 General Purposes Committee Meeting, an Information Report to Council was received from staff highlighting comments on the Ministry of Environment Interim and Marine Reports and the overall status of the Vancouver Airport Fuel Delivery project. The following resolutions were moved and seconded :

(1) That the staff report titled Vancouver Airport Fuel Delivery Project – Environmental Assessment Update from the Director, Engineering, highlighting staff comments on the Ministry of Environment’s Interim and Marine Reports and the overall status of the Vancouver Airport Fuel Delivery project, be received for information; and

(2) That a letter be sent to the Provincial and Federal Ministers of Environment, MLAs, and MPs to reiterate that the City of Richmond remains opposed to the current proposal and advocates that the Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation (VAFFC) conduct a process which fully and openly considers the economic, environmental, and social aspects of any new program for jet fuel delivery to the airport.

Ministers are anticipated to make their decision on whether to grant an Environmental Assessment Certificate on or before December 24, 2013.

View the General Purposes Committee Meeting Minutes.


The Project

The Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation (VAFFC), an organization owned and operated by a consortium of commercial airlines, is proposing to build a new aviation fuel delivery system to serve the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and meet its long-term needs for aviation fuel.

Over the past several years, VAFFC has identified several alternatives for a reliable long-term fuel supply for YVR. The alternatives include a combination of fuel delivery by marine routes, rail, tanker trucks and pipeline to bring fuel from its sources to YVR.

The VAFFC is pursuing approvals for their South Arm Option which consists of a marine terminal and fuel receiving and storage facility on the south arm of the Fraser River. It also proposes a new (approx.) 15 kilometre pipeline through Richmond connecting the fuel receiving facility to YVR either along the Shell Road rail corridor or Highway 99.

While the City of Richmond has and will continue to provide comments to influence the process of this project, it does not have any regulatory power with regard to pipeline projects, such as this, beyond development and building permitting on private lands.

The regulatory agencies that have powers to approve or reject this project include the BC Oil & Gas Commission and the Federal and Provincial Ministries of Environment.

The City's primary concern is public safety and protection of the environment.

For more information on the City of Richmond's position, please visit Council meeting minutes at www.richmond.ca including:

Recent City of Richmond News Releases

Regulatory Process
VAFFC voluntarily applied for, and was approved to, have the project reviewed by the BC Environmental Assessment Office. The environmental assessment process allows for public comment, and concludes with ministerial approval or rejection of the project.

The following organizations are among those represented on the Environmental Assessment Process Working Group created for the VAFFC project.

  • First Nations
  • Port Metro Vancouver
  • Vancouver Airport Authority
  • Fraser River Estuary Management Program
  • BC Oil and Gas Commission
  • City of Richmond

The City of Richmond does not have any regulatory power with regard to pipeline projects beyond development and building permitting on private lands.

Timeline

Activity Target Date Responsibility
Submitted Application for EAO evaluation against AIR. Includes Public Consultation Plan. January 5, 2011 Proponent
Comments from WG Screening Group Due (tentative: telecom January 25, 9am to 11am) January 21, 2011 WG Screening Group
Evaluated and EAO decision rendered on accepting Application for EA Certificate February 4, 2011 EAO
Produced and distributed copies of the Application February 18, 2011 Proponent
Commencement of 180 day review period – project documents posted on EAO website February 18, 2011 EAO
60-day public review and comment period February 25 to April 26, 2011 EAO
Proponent
Full working group meeting to initiate review of the Application March 2, 2011 First Nations, Federal, Provincial, Local governments
Public Open House (Richmond) and Presentations March 7, 2011 EAO, OGC, PMV
Proponent
Full/partial/technical working group meeting(s) March 10 to May 24, 2011 First Nations, Federal, Provincial, Local governments
Comments due on the Application from First Nations, Federal government, provincial government and local government
(1 month after start of review)
March 18, 2011 Public
First Nations,
Federal, Provincial, Local governments
Project EA (180 day clock) Suspended for 120 days or until addenda are provided and reviewed by EAO April 28, 2011 EAO
Responses from the Proponent to First Nations, and agency comments (Issues Tracking Table) to WG for review July 13, 2011 Proponent / EAO
Working Group comments due on Issues Tracking Table August 19, 2011 First Nations, Federal, Provincial, Local governments
Responses from the Proponent to public October 26, 2011 Proponent
Proponent submits First Nations Consultation report to EAO October 28, 2011 Proponent
Submission of additional EA information on Highway 99 route alternative and EAO review (1 week) November 2 - 9, 2011 Proponent
Working Group review of Hwy 99 information (2 weeks) with teleconference on November 18, 2011; comment back to EAO by November 23 November 14 to 25, 2011 WG
Proponent revisions to issues tracking table, to EAO and agencies in preparation for WG meeting Week of November 14, 2011 Proponent
WG meeting to discuss outstanding issues including Spill Response Plans and Proponent response to issues tracking (Vancouver) November 30, 2011 First Nations, Federal, Provincial, Local governments
Suspension lifted by EAO - Day 70 of 180 day review January 4, 2012 EAO
Public Comment Period on Hwy 99 Addendum
(Open House Jan 28)
January 11 to February 1, 2012 Proponent, EAO
Working Group meeting to discuss potential commitments regarding draft Spill Response Plan January 24, 2012 First Nations, Federal, Provincial and local governments, EAO, Proponent
First Nations Working Group meeting to discuss potential commitments regarding First Nations Fisheries (and possibly other topics) January 24, 2012 First Nations, EAO, Proponent
Proponent to provide responses to public comments February 14, 2012 Proponent
Project EA (180 day clock) Suspended until additional spill consequence information is provided and reviewed by EAO/PMV
March 7, 2012 EAO
Proponent to select route alignment TBD Proponent
EAO draft First Nations Consultation Report circulated to First Nations for Review for four week review. Comments due July 19, 2012 and July 31, 2012 June 21, 2012 and July 5, 2012 (HTG only) First Nations, EAO
Comments due from First Nations on EAO’s draft First Nations Consultation Report July 19, 2012 and July 31, 2012 First Nations
EAO draft Assessment Report & draft Table of Commitments– Circulated to Working Group (without First Nations section) for four-week review. Comments due September 28, 2012 August 31, 2012 First Nations, Federal, Provincial and local governments, EAO, Proponent
Working Group meeting to discuss the draft Assessment Report and Table of Conditions Week of September 17, 2012 First Nations, Federal, Provincial and local governments, EAO
Comments due from the Working Group on first draft of Assessment Report & Table of Commitments September 25, 2012 First Nations, Federal, Provincial and local governments, EAO, Proponent
EA suspension lifted September 2012 First Nations, Federal, Provincial and local governments, EAO, Proponent
EAO/PMV Prepares Final Assessment Report, Consultation Report and Referral Package for Ministers for internal review Mid October 2012 EAO, PMV
First Nations provide to EAO with any separate submissions that they would included in the referral package for Ministers Mid October 2012 First Nations, EAO
Referral Late October 2012 EAO
Ministers Decision on whether to grant an EA Certificate When Made Ministers
Provincial Minister of Environment extends time limit by 30 days to February 25, 2013 January 25, 2013 Ministers
The B.C. government suspends the environmental review of the Vancouver Airport Fuel Delivery Project pending the outcome of work it is undertaking to develop spill response regimes covering land-based spills and marine spills that may impact our shorelines. Process resumed on October 10, 2013 Provincial government
EA Certificate granted conditionally December 12, 2013  Ministers

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