The provincial government has granted conditional environmental assessment approval to a jet fuel pipeline to Vancouver International Airport.
The project faced significant opposition from Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie and city councillors over concerns of a spill or major fire.
The province says a fire safety plan has been developed with the Richmond Fire Department, Delta Fire Department, Provincial Emergency Services and the BC Oil and Gas Commission.
Environment Minister Mary Polak says the project will result in an increase in tanker traffic on the lower Fraser River, but there will be less tankers on the road.
“Currently we have 30 fuel tanker trucks a day traveling over the Alex Fraser Bridge to the airport,” says Polak. “This would increase to 200 tanker trucks over the next 20 years.”
“This pipeline method is much safer for the public and there’s far less risk to the environment.”
There will be two escort tugs for each tanker and one tug for each cargo barge coming into the new marine terminal. 64 conditions are in place to mitigate any potential impacts of the project.
In addition, all tankers will be double-hulled and pre-screened before entering Canadian waters.
The conditional environmental assessment approval allows construction to begin, but the proponents still need obtain permits from the Port of Metro Vancouver and various agencies.