On January 26th, Gateway replied to Delta Council's submission to the Environmental Assessment Office. Their responses relied on a familiar pattern:
1. Deny the obvious impacts:
"The SFPR does not impact the protected areas of Burns Bog"!!??
Because they don't plan to put any ashphalt on actual protected areas, they claim that the SFPR does not impact the Bog. How ridiculous is that?
"SFPR has minimal impact on heritage properties."
2. Distract from the actual information in the report:
Council asks Gateway to address the impact of increased levels of dangerous diesel particulates in neighbourhoods next to the SFPR. Gateway's response? "... emissions in the SFPR corridor are expected to decrease between 2003 and 2021" These projections rely entirely on estimates of the rate of modernization of the trucking fleet and changes in diesel fuel composition. The neighbourhoods that have a new four lane truck route in their back yards will see a significant spike in carcinogenic diesel particulates amongst other pollutants, and will have to rely on truckers to upgrade their trucks.
3. Rely on Mitigation over Alternatives:
Agricultural land loss - we are exploring mitigation.
Burns Bog impacts - we are exploring mitigation.
Noise pollution - we are exploring mitigation.
4. Claim that the suggestion is too expensive:
Delta requests a snow shed style cover over the North Delta portion of the highway to provide protection from noise, light, and air pollution. Gateway's response: ...preliminary investigation of a 2 km ... cover ... would cost up to $200 Million... and would double the construction costs."
Even Delta's administrators were not satisfied with Gateway's
response: "Gateway's response to Delta's submission is an ambiguous
reply that provides vague commitments regarding a number of Delta's
specific requests and does not address a number of issues highlighted by