Re: "City demands meeting with BC ministers," News, Jan. 9 After reading your article on the proposed fuel pipeline my husband and I strongly question the logic and benefits of the VAFFC pipeline as currently proposed. Two questions come to mind: who stands to benefit from it, and who will ultimately bear most of the risks and liabilities?
Many years ago my husband was certified by the NFPA in fire safety and understands all too well that jet fuel is an extremely volatile, toxic cocktail of high octane gasoline, kerosene, alcohol and other petro-chemical additives. This proposal would have this explosively, flammable substance flowing in the ground beneath our community. We live in a seismically active region where underground water and sewer line breaks are common. What guarantees does the City of Richmond have, if any, from the proponent (VAFFC) that the pipeline will not fail. If it does, the costs for the City of Richmond will be enormous.
Property values anywhere near the spill would suffer and exposure to toxic chemicals could significantly impact residents.
As residents of Richmond we do not wish to live with the threat of a preventable man-made disaster hanging over our heads and under our feet. Yet, the ministers of the current Liberal BC government did not care enough about the health and safety of Richmond residents to include two of the City of Richmond's requests in the Table of Conditions. One was for a fire station near the tank farm and the other for a fire boat on the Fraser River. Both of these expectations were highly reasonable and practical. The omission of these requests in the Table of Conditions by Terry Lake and Rich Coleman, BC's ministers of environment and energy respectively, makes one ask whose interests are they representing with regard to this issue?
This pipeline proposal is a potential nightmare scenario for Richmond yet the current provincial government has declined to send a copy of the full report and recommendation to the City of Richmond. Who is looking out for our interests? Both the Liberal MLA from Richmond Centre and the Conservative MP for Richmond, Alice Wong, seem absent from this discussion.
Mary Anne Samwald Richmond