Environmental impacts of port expansion will be vast
Arnold Schwarzenegger was recently quoted as saying, "We have to hand this land over to the next generation in better shape than we got it."
Here in B.C., we have been espousing that sentiment for years. When it comes to our bunker fuel we come in below the California and the European standards of 1.5 per cent sulphur content. Freighters fill up here and burn our relatively clean fuel (1.3 per cent), as they cross the globe and dock in other ports. The trouble is that Australia (2.6 per cent), Russia (3.5 per cent) and Asia (five per cent) don't have high standards and show no intention of improving them. Freighters fill up over there and not only do they pollute the air all the way back, but more important, while they are anchored in our harbours and docked at our ports. In addition, some of these countries have discovered that they can get rid of toxic and hazardous waste by dumping it into their crude oil to be burned off at sea and in our harbours.
The expansion of Deltaport would not only bring an increase of these freighters and their pollution; the marine construction equipment needed for the expansion process also uses high sulphur fuels. Add to that the inevitable increase in train and truck diesel particulate pollution and you have exactly the opposite of what we are trying to achieve for Lower Mainland air quality.
Further expansion would also mean the destruction of hundreds of hectares of ALR lands and that of the Fraser River estuary that is such crucial habitat for the world's migratory birds.
Over two dozen citizen groups are calling for the rejection of the expansion plans for the port and its specious environmental review. Lower Mainland residents are opposed to the continued erosion of our air quality, wildlife habitat and ALR lands because we want to improve upon what we have for our own sake and that of future generations.
published on 10/21/2006