As Pacific Coast Terminals begins to sell its expansion plans to the public, those plans are getting a somewhat positive response from one outspoken Port Moody city councillor.
Coun. Zoe Royer said she is cautiously optimistic of PCT's expansion plan, and applauded the company's intentions to consult with the public before the expansion moves ahead.
"Rather than telling residents, as they [PCT] did with coal, they are giving the public a lot more information," Royer said in an e-mail to The NOW.
Earlier this month, PCT announced plans to expand its operation and is currently in talks with a couple of potential customers in Western Canada to start handling potash and food-grade canola oil at its Port Moody terminal.
Officials with PCT recently met with Port Moody city council to share the expansion plans.
Royer said her biggest concern was the water treatment pond, but noted the plan is to replace it with a closed tank.
She said the change ultimately addresses that issue for her, also adding the movement of potash and canola oil isn't her biggest concern.
"PCT is also inviting feedback in person and online," Royer said. "Rather than limiting themselves to a confidential meeting with council, this time they plan to host an open house. I thank PCT for listening to people who said they wanted to be involved.
I think they're making some strides in the right direction."
The rookie councillor caused a stir in March when she suggested a bylaw requiring public consultation when the city's industrial property owners make major changes in excess of their baseline operations.
When Royer brought the original motion forward, she mentioned her concern with PCT. But the councillor insisted she was never picking on PCT, and was more focused on tanker traffic and the movement of fossil fuels in the inlet.
However, Royer isn't completely sold on the expansion plans either.
She listed off several concerns in her e-mail to The NOW, including questions over the forms of potash to be handled at the operation, and what impact a potential extension of railroad tracks west of the operation would have on the access to Reed Point Marina.
In the next six months, the company will be putting ads in newspapers, using its Channels newsletter, launching a website and hosting a public open house on the project later in the fall.
PCT is looking at handling 2.8 million tons of potash and another 750,000 tons of canola oil annually. That expansion would include the construction of a new rail-car dumper and conveying system to handle the potash, and three additional storage tanks for the canola oil.