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Canadian coal shipping facility given go-ahead

World Coal,

Canada’s largest port, Port Metro Vancouver, has approved a new facility to transfer coal from trains onto barges at Fraser Surrey Docks, following lengthy public scrutiny of the project’s impact on the environment.

According to the Globe and Mail, the permitting process for the facility lasted more than two years, and included air quality and other human health assessments, as well as environmental impact.

The port found “no unacceptable risks” in allowing the C$ 15 million project to move forward.

Once completed, the shipping facility at Fraser Surrey Docks would handle up to 4 million tpa of coal from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co. The facility would load barges bound for Texada Island, north of Vancouver, where it would be transferred to large vessels for export.

Documents published last year by the port, which is a corporation established by the Canadian government, said the expansion would bring in one more train and two barges each day.

Port Metro Vancouver announced new requirements for the project in the Autumn of 2013, including prohibiting onsite coal storage and making barges take extra measures to prevent coal dust from escaping while in transit.

The moves were in response to public concerns about air quality and health issues due to coal dust exposure.

The new facility is expected to begin operating in the fall of 2015, said Jeff Scott, the chief executive of Fraser Surrey Docks, which is the largest multipurpose marine terminal on North America’s West Coast.

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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