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Press Releases

OCTOBER 27, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Support Surges for Resident Rally in Opposition of South Surrey Biofuel Plant

 

Surrey, B.C., October 26, 2023 – The Clean Air Alliance, comprised of South Surrey residents voicing opposition to Adion Global Inc.’s Biofuel Plant proposed for development on Semiahmoo First Nation land, are hosting a family-friendly rally this Sunday October 29th at 1:00 p.m. at Peace Arch Park. This grassroots group of concerned citizens have been gaining traction in number and media attention over the last few weeks, resulting in key community leaders turning out to speak at this weekend’s event.

“We have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to educate ourselves and relay the facts of impact – to the Little Campbell River’s ecosystem, the health risks as evidenced to occur in those living within 10 kilometres of a biofuel plant, and to our way of life here in South Surrey and to our close neighbours in beautiful White Rock and across the border in Blaine, WA,” said Suzanne Smith, a local business owner and rally organizer. “We are encouraging everyone to join in community this Sunday, to listen to the insights of experts and peacefully take a stand, together.”

“Our responsibility is critical here; this Semiahmoo region is at the centre of the most important biological region in the entire northeast Pacific, upon which tens of millions of migrating shorebirds depend and is at the heart of the world’s largest gathering of breeding and wintering eagles,” said David Hancock, of the Hancock Wildlife Foundation, a key speaker at Sunday’s event. “Millions of dollars have been spent enabling wise-use conservation policies on these lands and the Semiahmoo people have worked for years to keep all pollution risk to ZERO; this must continue as degradation of these sensitive ecosystems would be catastrophic.”

In addition to the environmental impact, there are health risks to consider. A report prepared by Tetra Tech+ for Andion Global in June 2023 contains a detailed list of the chemicals, and air quality dispersion reports projecting wind patterns and gas patterns and how more than eighty sensitive groups will be affected in the area. Andion is in the process of applying for an air quality permit through Metro Vancouver. The permit describes releasing 40 tonnes of pollution including methane, sulphuric dioxide, ammonia, nitrogen dioxide, hydrogen sulphide and other volatile organic compounds.

“This is unacceptable for the population at large, those living here and visiting, let alone those of us in the community with compromised immune systems,” said Christy Fox a professional photographer and pillar in the White Rock community. “Studies on the impact of biofuel facility emissions on our health show that current air quality assessments may not be enough to protect us.”

The National Library of Medicine’s, National Center for Biotechnology Information, “Analysing the Impact on Health and Environment from Biogas Production Process and Biomass Combustion: A Scoping Review” is revealing. Just one of the many findings is “...respiratory emergency department (ED) visit rates among residents living within 10 km of the biorefineries were significantly higher...”

The intention of Sunday’s rally is to provide the community with a more in-depth look at the four key areas of growing concern: the environmental impact, the risks to short- and long-term health, the potential safety hazards as evidenced by the explosion of the biofuel facility in the UK earlier this month, and, the quality-of-life disruptions, from trucks operating in the night, to the toxic smells that Andion has admitted would inhibit outdoor activity in the winter months and require residents’ windows to be closed.

These concerns have sparked a flurry of support and media coverage. To date 6,378 people have signed the petition “Say NO to a Biofuel plant in residential neighbourhood of South Surrey White Rock”, the Facebook group has over 1300 members, hundreds have written to andioncomments@metrovancouver.org and a litany of other government officials, a Go Fund Me campaign is in the works and this story has garnered interest from Global TV, CBC, CityNews Vancouver, Peace Arch News and Surrey Now.

Speakers identified for Sunday’s event include: Surrey city councillor, Linda Annis; David Hancock, Hancock Wildlife Foundation; Christy Fox, photographer and White Rock community advocate; Mark Harding, South Surrey resident and retired VP of Global Affairs Diageo; Jim Gouk, two-term MP, Kris Maxwell, Regional VP Advisor Distribution, TD Asset Management; Scott Kristianson retired White Rock city councillor; Nav Maharaj, Senior Investment Advisor, CIBC; Jordan Stones, Senior Environmental Specialist, RCMP; and more to be confirmed.

While the Clean Air Alliance Rally will officially begin at Peace Arch Park at 1:00 p.m., attendees can also gather at Douglas Elementary School at 12:00 to begin a march to the event together. Organizers are encouraging all to remember that this is a peaceful gathering and are welcoming creative signage in keeping with a show of voice that is respectful to all parties involved. Volunteers will be helping to direct people day-of, there will be “Breathe” t-shirts for sale in support of the cause, and all are invited to bring a lunch and enjoy a time of community connection.

For a full list of rally-day details, from speakers to where to park, and links to stats and facts surrounding this issue, visit www.nobiofuel.ca and join the online Facebook community group, “CLEAN AIR ALLIANCE in Opposition of Andion Biofuel Plant SS WR”.

 

 


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Media Contacts:

 

 

 

OCTOBER 5, 2023 

 

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                                    For immediate release 

 

BIOFUEL OPPOSITION FROM CONCERNED RESIDENTS OF SOUTH SURREY 

 

SURREY, BC —  Residents of South Surrey oppose a new proposalby Andion Global Inc. to build a biofuel plant in a heavily populated residential and recreational area affecting thousands of residents and polluting the Little Campbell River, White Rock Beach, Semiahmoo Bay, Drayton Harbor and other diverse ecosystems and wetlands of the surrounding area. 

 

To date nearly 3000 residents have signed an online petition to block the facility and an alliance of people against the project are seeking more support from neighbours and concerned citizens. 

The biofuel facility is proposed to be built on the Semiahmoo First Nation reserve located by the Peace Arch border on the corner of Highway 99 & Vancouver-Blaine Hwy north of the Peace Arch Duty Free store. This facility will process waste transported from the City of Vancouver.

 

Andion Global is in the process of applying for a permit to pollute the area of South Surrey which in their application describes the release of sulphuric dioxide, ammonia, nitrogen dioxide, methane, hydrogen sulphide and other volatile organic compounds which will affect the health of residents and specifically sensitive communities from zero avenue to 32nd Avenue and throughout White Rock & the South Surrey Peninsula. 

 

A report prepared by Tetra Tech for Andion Global in June 2023, contains a detailed list of the communities the biofuel facility is expected to affect which includes more than 80 sensitive groups such as elementary schools (Douglas Elementary with 505 students in the direct vicinity) & high schools, pre-schools, seniors residences and care homes, community centers, medical centers and Peace Arch Hospital. The affect of the gases will be experienced on both sides of the US-Canada border including workers at border services for CBSA & USCBP.

 

The biofuel facility is the first of its kind in North America for Andion Global which is being funded in part by a hedge fund called Spring Lane Capital based in Boston, MA & Montreal, QB. Similar facilities in Europe have been the site of explosions+, poor air quality jeopardizing the health of the nearby residents and causing long term respiratory illnesses and other health issues related to inhaling the released gases.

 

Further to the health risk, the report by Tetra Tech states a nuisance odor will be noticeably detected in the air for up to six months of the year with five smoke stacks. The odour will be experienced by thousands of residents and visitors enjoying recreation at White Rock Beach, The Hills Golf Course, Peace Arch Provincial Park, and other nearby parks and playgrounds. 

 

Within less than a kilometre of the proposed facility is Little Campbell River, a 30 km water shed which is a habitat for hundreds of species of animals and a passage for salmon and other fish including coho, chinook, chum, steelhead and cutthroat trout. Little Campbell Water Shed Society asserts that harmful particulates from the released gases will distribute pollutants via the river to five territories including Surrey, Langley, Whatcom County, Semiahmoo Bay, Boundary Bay and Drayton Harbor.

 

The proposal indicates initially 200 trucks will deliver waste weekly from the Metro Vancouver area to be converted to natural gas by the Andion company at the facility. These large dump trucks will access the facility along highway 99, the same route taken by 5000 land travelers a day who use the Peace Arch Border between the US and Canada where traffic often backs up for the border past 8th avenue along highway 99. 

 

On September 27, 2023, two-hundred people attended a town hall meeting to share concerns about the project. From the meeting a committee formed to communicate with government, community groups, Semiahmoo First Nation and representatives from Andion Global.    

 

A website has been created for the community to learn more about the facility and why residents oppose the project at www.nobiofuel.wix.com/learnmore. They are asking for anyone opposed to the project to sign the petition and write letters and emails to their local, provincial and federal government representatives to ask them to block the facility. 

 

District Director at Metro Vancouver 

Email: andioncomments@metrovancouver.org

 

Indigenous Services Canada 

Government of Canada

Email: Lee-Ann.Hamilton@sac-isc.gc.ca

 

Hon. Kerry Lynn Findlay MP, South Surrey-White Rock

Email: kerry-lynne.findlay@parl.gc.ca

 

 

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For more information contact:

 

Mark Harding

(604) 803 3523

markharding0@gmail.com

 

Suzanne Smith

(360) 255-8513

 

 

 

References:

 

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