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Port Metro Vancouver has approved a proposed direct coal transfer facility at Fraser Surrey Docks that will be served by BNSF Railway Co.The British Columbia port's decision to grant a project permit follows a two-year project review process. The port has stipulated extra measures that Fraser Surrey Docks must take to assess and address any potential environmental and human health risks.For example, the port had asked Fraser Surrey Docks — a marine terminal in Surrey, B.C. — to work with BNSF to address potential issues caused by coal dust blowing off of rail cars. In May, the Class I announced plans to add a re-spray of a dust suppressant agent to cars before they enter Canada."The decision to permit the proposed coal transfer facility at Fraser Surrey Docks was not one we took lightly," said Peter Xotta, the port's vice president of planning and operations, in a press release. "Through our comprehensive project review process, stakeholder consultation, as well as third-party validated environmental and health studies, it was determined there are no unacceptable risks and the project could be permitted."The $15 million facility will handle up to 4 million metric tons of coal per year. Coal will be loaded onto barges at the facility and transferred to ocean-going carriers at Texada Island. The coal will arrive at Fraser Surrey Docks via BNSF, resulting in one additional train per day.Fraser Surrey Docks plans to begin construction planning activities, with the facility scheduled to launch operations in fall 2015."Over the past two years, a significant amount of work and a number of comprehensive studies have gone into ensuring this project is safe and that concerns raised were addressed," said Fraser Surrey Docks President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Scott.
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