01/28/2012 05:02 EST | Updated 03/29/2012 05:12 EDT

Opponents protest Richmond jet fuel pipeline

About a dozen protesters gathered outside a Richmond community centre Saturday to voice their opposition to a proposed jet fuel pipeline.

Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation, the consortium behind the pipeline, wants to ship jet fuel in tankers up the south arm of the Fraser River to a new off-loading and fuel storage terminal near Riverport. It would then be shipped to existing fuel facilities at Vancouver International Airport via a 15-kilometre pipeline.

It would replace the current 150 millimetre pipeline, which is augmented by tanker trucks from Washington state. The consortium argues the new pipeline is necessary to keep up with the demands for fuel at the airport.

The consortium held an open house to explain the project at the East Richmond Community Hall Saturday, but about a dozen people rallied outside the hall, gathering signatures for a petition against the project.]

"This would pose an unacceptable risk to the Fraser River Estuary and we feel that it's not logical to propose such an environmentally dangerous option when better options are out there," said protester Carol Day.

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie also made some fiery comments against the project outside the open house.

"The City of Richmond is dead set against the fuel delivery system that is proposed by the consortium of the airlines. We are concerned with the environmental and the social risks of what is being proposed," he said.

"We have voiced our concerns to everyone who will listen, and we think it's an important message. Our city is committed to sustainability and this is not a sustainable solution because of the environmental risks."

A final decision will be made by provincial ministers by June.