Critics of a proposed massive expansion of the Roberts Bank container terminal gathered today to voice their concerns.
“I think we are going to see a lot more pollution, infrastructure, take up a lot of land, pollution, ruined bay areas,” said Liz Macdonald of Citizens Against Port Expansion.
The expansion was referred for an environmental assessment in January.
Called Roberts Bank Terminal 2, it would be operational by the mid-2020s if it’s approved, and double container traffic.
In a statement, Cliff Stewart, Vice President of Infrastructure Delivery at Port Metro Vancouver, said the review would be “the most rigorous independent environmental review available in Canada.”
“The demand for imported goods and trade is expected to double container traffic on the west coast in the next 10 to 15 years. Our challenge is to manage that growth while ensuring any risks to environment and community are mitigated,” he said.
The terminal would be 5.5 km from the mainland, to “reduce the impact on sensitive marine habitat and limit the amount of dredging required”, according to the port.
But those claims are being met skeptically by some.
“We get these arguments that we’re getting the safest tanker routes and pipelines, but it’s not true,” said BCIT Fisheries Instructor Marvin Rosenau.
“The Americans are so far ahead of us in terms of environmental protection, this is like a third-world country.”