No future in coal: environmental groups ask courts to allow Fraser Surrey Docks case to go ahead

LOWER MAINLAND (NEWS 1130) – Arguing there’s no future in coal, environmental groups are asking a judge to dismiss a request by Fraser Surrey Docks to toss the case they want to bring against a proposed coal transfer facility on the Fraser River.

To listen to many world leaders, phasing out coal — among the filthiest of fossil fuels — is a priority.

So Kevin Washbrook with Voters Taking Action on Climate Change says his group and others must at least be able to outline their concerns about a local facility here.

“Coal is on its way out,” says Washbrook. “These people — they’re dinosaurs fighting to hold onto the last vestige of this kind of industry. It’s going to go away anyways, eventually. We don’t want to see this coal port built because it’s going to be a bad thing for the local community, bad for the environment, and it’s not going to last in the long run anyways.”

Fraser Surrey Docks and the Port of Vancouver are trying to get the legal challenge tossed based on the fact the permit for the facility has been amended since the environmental groups initially filed their paperwork.

“They’re trying to stop this whole court case on a technicality,” says lawyer Karen Campbell with Ecojustice. “We’re having to go to court to preserve our right to go to court, to stop this coal port.”

These groups anticipate up to four mega tonnes of coal will be transported through the Lower Mainland by rail on open cars if the project goes ahead.

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