Richmond city staff is recommending council take a stand against the expansion of the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 in Tsawwassen.
The 450-acre project would add three new berths and allow an additional 2.4 million containers to move through the port every year, which the port has claimed would meet its projected demand in 2030.
The land is a mixture of urban, residential and farming – largely in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) – and includes both resident and wintering birds as well as marine mammal species in the Strait of Georgia.
An independent review panel published its final report in March and, based on this report, city staff are recommending council oppose the expansion and let both federal and provincial governments know about their opposition.
Potential benefits of the project include increased competitiveness for the west coast and more jobs and business opportunities.
However, the panel found a long list of impacts on the environment and the local population. The expansion would affect aquatic species, barn owl populations, Dungeness crab, Chinook salmon, South Resident Killer Whales, cultural activities of the local Indigenous populations and the commercial crab fishery.
Other impacts would be increased noise, light and dust and the loss of some ALR land. The panel also highlighted the effect of a “worst-case oil spill” on marine life as well as commercial and recreational activities and the Indigenous population.
The traffic impact on Richmond from increased trucks wasn’t included in the environmental assessment.
The City of Richmond also noted they have concerns about the pressure on ALR land located next to port facilities on the South Arm of the Fraser River in Richmond.
The report will be dealt with at Monday’s general-purposes committee meeting.
This article about City of Richmond, BC staff recommend opposition to Port of Vancouver’s Terminal 2 expansion by Maria Rantanen originally appeared in the Richmond News on September 14, 2020.
Watch: Industry and environmental experts see problems with Port of Vancouver's Roberts Bank Terminal 2