11/18/2013 07:09 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 04:01 EST

Fraser Surrey Docks Coal Port Project To Have No Adverse Effects: Assessment

SURREY, B.C. - An environmental impact assessment has determined a proposed coal-shipping terminal along B.C.'s Fraser River is "not likely" to adversely affect the environment or the health of people living nearby.

Fraser Surrey Docks has applied to Port Metro Vancouver to build a facility that would transfer coal from rail cars onto barges, which would then carry coal to nearby Texada Island before it is ultimately shipped to Asia.

The proposal has drawn criticism from environmental groups and local residents, who have raised concerns about the terminal's potential harm on the surrounding environment and air quality, as well as noise and increased vehicle traffic.

Fraser Surrey Docks hired SNC-Lavalin to review the process, and a newly released report concludes the company's proposal effectively mitigates the potential impact of the project.

The release of the environmental impact assessment starts a 30-day public consultation process.

The proposed facility would be added to the existing Fraser Surrey Docks terminal and would process up to four million metric tonnes of coal per year.

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