Time Sensitive: City Council Will Vote on Vancouver Fossil Fuel Ordinance on Monday, October 3!
Speak Up to Ensure Vancouver Takes a Strong Stand Against Large Fossil Fuel Terminals
After years of pressure from the community, the City of Vancouver is poised to approve a strong ordinance that would prohibit new or expanded large-scale fossil fuel facilities. An upcoming decision by the City Council would keep large, dirty fossil fuel terminals out of Vancouver and avert major health and safety risks for communities already disproportionately impacted by fossil fuels.
As currently drafted, the permanent ordinance would:
- Prohibit new large-scale fossil fuel facilities. These types of facilities can be fed by unit trains; are often located on liquefiable soils; and pose major health, safety, and spill risks during and after a seismic event.
- Prohibit expansion of existing large-scale fossil fuel storage and handling, but allow seismic retrofits, safety upgrades, and maintenance improvements.
- Allow existing facilities to convert to cleaner fuels. Facilities that convert would be allowed to expand storage by 15% if they meet safety and seismic upgrade standards and obtain a conditional use permit from the City.
- Allow new cleaner fuel facilities with storage capacity less than 1 million gallons, with a setback from residential neighborhoods, and subject to seismic and safety reviews.
Right now, the City Council needs to hear from us in support of a strong, equitable ordinance that protects the health and safety of people in Vancouver.
- Register to Speak to the Vancouver City Council on Monday, October 3 at 6:30 pm. (Be sure to register by 12 noon on October 3!) You can speak either virtually or in-person. Council meets in the second floor Council Chambers at City Hall, 415 W. 6th St., Vancouver. You can Register to Speak to the Vancouver City Council virtually. (Be sure to register by 12 noon on October 3!) Council staff will send you a link once you register online.
Join us in speaking to support the fossil fuel ordinance! Here are some ideas about giving testimony. (Note: Testimony is limited to 3 minutes per person.)
- Introduce yourself and why you care about the fossil fuel pollution in Vancouver. What impact is most important to you? Do you experience health impacts or other other impacts from fossil fuels? Do you know people in your community who are disproportionately impacted by fossil fuel pollution and poor air quality? Are you concerned about the impact an earthquake would have on fuel terminals, with potential spills and fires?
- Urge the city to pass the ordinance to prohibit new large-scale fossil fuel facilities. The health and safety of the community will benefit by avoiding more fossil fuel terminals in Vancouver. The ordinance values community health, safety, and environmental justice.
- Ask the Council to ensure that communities with high levels of pollution have a voice in addressing spill, seismic, and fire risks from any new “cleaner” facilities or terminals that convert and expand storage for non-fossil fuels. Residents deserve an opportunity to engage in new energy projects in their area, including cleaner liquid fuel that may be toxic or flammable in a spill. Specifically, staff recommend that conditional use permits (which involve public notice and a hearing) are warranted when potential new facilities or additions could involve millions of gallons of additional fuel storage.
- Resist industry pressure to water down the ordinance.
2) If you can’t make the hearing, sign our petition urging the City Council to pass the ordinance!
You can find more information about the policy on the City’s web page (scroll to the bottom for resources and documents).
The reasons for Vancouver to act are clear: people in Vancouver experience environmental health risks far too often, and these impacts disproportionately fall on BIPOC, lower income, and otherwise marginalized communities. According to the Washington Department of Health, some areas of Vancouver are among the worst in the state for environmental health disparities, including exposure to smog and other hazards associated with fossil fuel use.