Thursday, February 26, 2015

Coal Terminal Expansion in Metro Vancouver

Last year, I posted about Port Metro Vancouver’s plans to expand coal handling capacity in our region. If you happen to live in a community like the City of Langley or Fort Langley, which have mainline railways through them, you will be subject to more trains. Living near these railways are directly linked to chronic health issues. The increase in coal trains prompted our region's public health officials to call for a health impact assessment. Health officials are still waiting for that assessment.

Beside negatively impact human health, the transportation and use of coal also degrades the quality of our air.

Metro Vancouver’s Climate Action Committee recently saw a presentation about the increased coal handling capabilities within Metro Vancouver’s jurisdiction. Our region could go from handling less than 35 million tonnes of coal per year to over 65 million tonnes.

The presentation contains a slide which shows the status of current coal handling expansion projects.

Summary of coal terminal expansion projects. Select image to enlarge.

One of the few roadblocks left to allowing the massive expansion of coal handling facilities in our region is the Metro Vancouver air quality permitting processes.

It will be interesting to see how this process unfolds as Metro Vancouver can regulated the amount of pollution that coal handling facilities are allowed to discharge into our air. If Metro Vancouver sets up strict requirements, will the province veto regional regulations?

No comments: