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Public gets say on Terminal 2 guidelines
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has announced there will be a one-month public comment period for a draft document in preparation of Terminal 2 expansion at Deltaport.
A 35-page document on the draft guidelines for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement has been posted on the federal agency’s website, and the public has until Dec. 8 to make written comments.
The agency is not requesting comments on the proposal itself, but rather the guidelines that will dictate the scope of the analysis by the CEAA. Bernita Iverson, Delta’s representative on the Port Community Liaison Committee, said there’s a meeting among its members on Nov. 19 to discuss the draft document.
The committee is not a voice for the Port, but rather a mix of 15 individuals from the Corporation of Delta, Tsawwassen First Nation, community organizations, port industry, and Port Metro Vancouver, with community representatives from Tsawwassen, Ladner, and North Delta.
The committee was formed in 2007 as a requirement of the province’s environmental assessment certificate when Deltaport’s third berth was approved. Although the committee’s role officially ended after the berth was finished construction, the Port decided it was a valuable community outreach resource, and renewed the terms of reference in June 2011.
“The key will be within the next year when they start discussing the actual project and the impacts on the community and the environment,” said Iverson.
Delta South MLA Vicki Huntington said the public isn’t being given enough time to review the draft document, which was released publicly on Nov. 8, just before the long weekend, and with little fanfare. Her office didn’t become aware of the document until Tuesday.
“This is what the process has become, an impossible one for citizens to engage in,” she said.
Huntington said the Port, which has been conducting its own environmental assessment, has refused to release those documents to the public in order to give people time to “read and digest the information.”
Copies of the draft EIS Guidelines are available for viewing online or at the Tsawwassen Library (1321A 56th Street) and George Mackie Library (8440 112th Street).