CP Rail intends to create a logistics park with fuel and grain storage in Pitt Meadows. (Special to The News)

CP Rail intends to create a logistics park with fuel and grain storage in Pitt Meadows. (Special to The News)

Pitt Meadows challenges CP’s process for choosing logistics park site

Site evaluation was ‘fundamentally flawed in its methodology’ asserts city

Pitt Meadows city council says CP Rail went through a flawed process to arrive at a site in Pitt Meadows for its proposed new logistics park.

The city is sending CP a letter saying the comparative site evaluation is “fundamentally flawed in its methodology,” and refers to “specious claims of the project’s benefits.”

In December, the railway announced its intent to establish a 41-hectare logistics yard on farmland just south of its existing intermodal facility. It plans to build a “multi-modal, multi-commodity transload and logistics facility.” It would have three main elements: a fuel and ethanol transload facility, an agricultural hub where products will be received by rail and transloaded to shipping containers, and an auto compound for vehicles headed for local distributors.

READ ALSO: Pitt Meadows city hall and residents oppose new CP Rail operation

“It appears as though the Kennedy Road property was pre-determined by CP and the evaluation was completed after the fact to try to provide further justification beyond the site being the most convenient and cost effective for CP,” says the letter by council.

Among the city’s objections:

• There are at least 17 residents within 300 metres of the site, while the evaluation says there are none.

• There are four amenities within 400 metres – Pitt River Regional Greenway, Cottonwood Park, the Ridge Meadows BMX Track, and the Pitt Meadows Gun Club. CP’s evaluation says there are none.

• It did not consider the fire safety issues brought with storing fuels and grains at the location.

• More truck traffic would stress the intersection of Kennedy Road and Lougheed Highway, which has recently been evaluated as operating at-or-near a failing level of service.

• Environmental impacts due to proximity of the site to the Katzie Slough.

“This assessment tool was tremendously flawed, and there were gross misrepresentations in it,” said Coun. Anena Simpson.

READ ALSO: Pitt Meadows wants higher tax rate for CP Rail

Coun. Nicole MacDonald called the fire and rescue service model “grossly undersized, under-trained, under-equipped to handle anything that could potentially develop there.”

She highlighted that the letter is addressed to CP, where it might “fall on deaf ears,” but is copied to numerous federal and provincial agencies and politicians.

CP responded by saying it appreciates the input from the City of Pitt Meadows, and is confident the company can address the issues raised in the letter through the comprehensive environmental effects assessment that is underway.

“The comparative site evaluation was a high level evaluation that looked at a number of technical, environmental and socio-economic criteria to ensure that there wasn’t another site in the study area which would have substantially lowered potential effects,” said Lesli Tomlin, CP director of communications.

“The facility needs to be located west of Mission, on a relatively flat 40 ha site that is parallel and adjacent to CP’s mainline.

“We will continue to seek and consider input from the city, the community and Indigenous groups as we move forward with an application to the Canadian Transportation Agency, expected later this year. If approved, the facility is not anticipated to be in operation until 2027 or 2028.”

So far, almost 2,000 people have added their names to an online petition at change.org to stop the project.

Have a story tip? Email: ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

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