Port Metro Vancouver has ordered Fraser Surrey Docks to do more study of the impacts of its proposed coal-loading facility on the Fraser River, but environmentalists contend the broader study still falls short.
Among other things, the critics say the new study, as outlined in a Thursday, Sept. 12 press conference, doesn't include a thorough study of health impacts.
Officials for the dock operation and BNSF Railway Co. say they are taking extra measures to minimize dust problems in Surrey.
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Near the end of the Sun's report, Fraser Surrey CEO Jeff Scott said BNSF will install dust control equipment at the site to spray dust-suppressing chemicals and minimize dust release when coal is transferred from trains to vessels.
In an email, BNSF spokeswoman Courtney Wallace added the railroad's perspective on that:
" In discussions with FSD regarding the permitting of their facility, BNSF Railway has voluntarily agreed to establish a re-spray center to help satisfy a regulatory request from Port Metro Vancouver," Wallace's email said. "We firmly believe our coal loading rule effectively addresses coal dust by requiring the application of a topping agent when coal is loaded. This additional, voluntary effort provides another level of redundancy to an already well-established mitigation process and helps with the permitting process for Fraser Surrey Docks ... Above all else, establishing a re-spray center demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the communities where we operate that coal dust will not be an issue.
"We are currently working through numerous details regarding the re-spray station, including a possible location, permitting and timelines. Once the re-spray center is operational, we expect that all coal transported to Vancouver will be treated at the facility."
(end of BNSF comment)
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