Delta wants T2 environmental review process halted

July 13 2019

Delta wants a federal review panel to say no to the proposed Terminal 2 project at Roberts Bank, for now.

A report to be discussed at council Monday outlines the city’s position expressing a number of concerns about the mega project.

The public hearing for T2 began in Delta in mid-May and eventually took place in several other communities before closing on June 24 after more than 22 days of presentations, questions and discussions.

Mayor George Harvie presented the city’s concerns early in the proceedings.

The review panel is now inviting those who participated in the public hearing to submit closing comments by August 26.

The report to council outlines the city’s closing remarks, reiterating Harvie’s call to halt the environmental review process until a number of conditions are met.

They include, among other things, a new crossing in place to address traffic congestion at the George Massey Tunnel, having greater certainty and consensus regarding impacts on critical habitats and endangered species, including biofilm, migratory shorebirds and the southern resident killer whales, and there is greater certainty regarding the need and appropriateness of RBT2 to address Canada's trading needs as well as a further examination on Global Container Terminal’s Deltaport Fourth Berth proposal.

Delta also wants crime concerns addressed as well as steps be taken to expedite the establishment of a world class spill response program.

Also among the city’s requests is that Delta be involved in the development of short and long-term mitigation strategies for the project and that steps be taken to mitigate the impacts to agricultural land.

Terminal 2 is a proposed three-berth container terminal that would be built on a man-made island adjacent to the existing Deltaport container terminal.

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority says it’s needed to handle an expected increase in container shipments on the West Coast, while opponents say it would create irreversible environmental damage.

The port notes that it has undertaken 77 studies over several years, with contributions from more than 100 professional scientists and more than 35,000 hours of field work. 

This article by Sandor Gyarmati originally appeared in the Delta Optimist on July 13, 2019.