10/29/2013 15:11 EDT | Updated 12/29/2013 05:12 EST

Surrey votes to oppose expanded Fraser coal facility

Surrey Council voted unanimously Monday night to oppose an expanded coal facility on the Fraser River, as well as ordering a health impact assessment of the controversial project. 

The proposed $15 million dollar expansion would see the coal transfer facility handle about four million metric tonnes of coal from the U.S. annually, moving the commodity from trains to cargo tankers for shipment to Asia.

Paula Williams, a community organizer behind the anti-expansion group Communities and Coal, says the mayor and council have done the right thing. On Monday the group presented council with a 11,000-name petition opposed to the project, with specific concern about the diesel particles generated by train engines hauling coal to the terminal on the Fraser River.

She says the next move is up to the Port of Metro Vancouver.

"I think we have to wait and see how the Port responds," Williams said. "I know they're releasing an environmental impact assessment and will be looking to Fraser Health to see how they respond."