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Deadline for feedback on T2 is drawing near

Port proposing second Roberts Bank container terminal

Port Metro Vancouver's current round of gathering feedback on the proposed Terminal 2 project wraps up later this month.

The port authority began in early October what it called project definition consultation, presenting the conceptual design as well as seeking input on refining the design and developing environmental mitigation plans. The deadline for comments is Nov. 30.

The Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project is a proposed three-berth container port that could handle 2.4 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent unit containers). The project is part of Port Metro Vancouver's long-term strategy to meet anticipated container demand through to 2030.

There is already a three-berth container terminal, Deltaport, operating at Roberts Bank.

The port notes the project will be subject to "a thorough and independent environmental assessment."

The port authority recently held an open house in Tsawwassen where representatives were on hand to explain the project and answer questions.

Also on hand were environmentalists Mary Taitt, Susan Jones and Wilma Haig with the Delta chapter of the Council of Canadians. They all content there's not a good enough business case to build another terminal here, despite what the port authority claims.

The port authority says forecasts show container traffic is expected to double over the next 10 to 15 years and triple by 2030. Subject to regulatory approvals, T2 could be fully operational by 2024, but the port authority says it will continue to monitor economic conditions and container traffic throughout project development.

The proposed terminal would be located west of Deltaport, parallel to the shoreline and perpendicular to the causeway.

Port Metro Vancouver says T2 would be located as far offshore as practical to reduce the impact on sensitive marine habitat and limit the amount of dredging required, while meeting geotechnical and seismic performance criteria.

To accommodate the infrastructure needed for T2, the causeway leading to the existing facilities at Roberts Bank would be widened. Various rail and intermodal yard improvements would also be required.

Although T2 is still in its early planning stages and requires provincial and federal approvals, the provincial government has already indicated its support. T2 was mentioned in the Pacific Gateway Transportation Strategy 2012-2020, a series of measures to improve the supply chain on the West Coast announced earlier this year.

Delta, meanwhile, could end up with millions of dollars from "community legacy benefits."

The port authority says it's initiating discussions with local and regional governments about the type of legacy benefits that should be considered.