T2 review should also consider impact of cruise terminal

Editor:

Re: Cruise terminal eyed for Fraser, Aug. 22

article continues below

Nearly two years ago I wrote to the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Environmental Assessment Panel advising that the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority was suggesting that a cruise ship terminal might be built in Delta. Given this information, it was clear that CEAA regulations required that cumulative effects of potential changes to the environment from future projects in the area must be fully considered in the overall environmental assessment of the T2 project.

My email to the panel was posted on the CEAA registry and then ignored.

Fast-forward to August 2019 and we now find out from port authority CEO Robin Silvester that indeed they have carried out studies on potential locations in Delta for a cruise ship terminal. Even if the terminal were to be located somewhere in the estuary or river other than Roberts Bank - and there is no assurance that this is the case - the cumulative impacts of vessel traffic, cruise passenger access, goods and service deliveries to such a terminal, waste disposal, water quality, dredging, infrastructure development, etc. all have cumulative effects on the T2 project.

Clearly a future project to build a cruise ship terminal in Delta should have been a part of the cumulative effects assessment for T2. It is required by the CEAA 2012 Act. Is it a coincidence that information comes out that studies for a cruise ship terminal were being conducted only after the review panel has closed its public hearings and the record for the T2 environmental assessment?

Why wait to release information about these studies until after the record is closed? Why was this information not made known during the public hearing? The port authority obviously knew about it, so why was the panel and the public not advised?

The port authority played this same game with the assessment of the Deltaport third berth addition. They convinced the regulators for that assessment to ignore the possibility of a second container terminal being added in the area, despite the fact they had this on their agenda. As soon as the third berth project was approved, the T2 project resurfaced.

We should not be fooled twice. It is clear the information about a potential cruise ship terminal in Delta invalidates the T2 assessment by federal review panel. The records and assessment must be re-opened, further information collected and additional public hearings held so the cumulative impacts of adding a cruise ship terminal are properly considered in relation to the T2 project.

Roger Emsley

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