Release Date:
Release ID: 859

Port Investigating Improper Ocean Disposal Related to Deltaport Third Berth Construction and Damage to BCTC Transmission Line

The Vancouver Port Authority (VPA) has recently learned that contractors working on the Deltaport Third Berth Project (DP3) at Roberts Bank in Delta disposed of clean dredge material outside of the permitted disposal location for the project. VPA understands this disposal took place approximately one kilometre from the area designated in the ocean disposal permit for the project.

British Columbia Transmission Corporation (BCTC) has further advised VPA that one of its HVDC underwater electrical power cables, which services Vancouver Island, is located in the area of this improper disposal and may have sustained damage. Service to Vancouver Island has not been affected. It also appears some disposal may have occurred in waters which are located within the United States.

VPA immediately advised Environment Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans of the error and is working closely with BCTC,Environment Canada and U.S. officials to investigate and confirm details pertaining to the incident, which appears to have taken place between May 31 and July 10, 2007.

VPA holds an ocean disposal permit issued by Environment Canada, to dispose of clean dredge material that is not suitable for use as fill in the construction of DP3. Environment Canada will also be conducting an independent investigation to determine the cause and responsible parties for the "non-approved" disposal.

VPA will work in conjunction with Environment Canada, BCTC and other authorities to ensure that any required remedial action is carried out.

"There will be no more ocean disposal by barge until the contractors proposed plan to address the cause of this mistake has been accepted by Environment Canada," said Chris Badger, Vice President CustomerDevelopment and Operations for the VPA. "The VPA has also directed the contractor to include in their plan the placement of an independent marine surveyor on-board all disposal barges to ensure that the dredged material is disposed of in the approved location."

Construction for DP3 has been underway since January 2007. The project will add a third berth to the existing two-berth terminal at the Deltaport container terminal at Roberts Bank. The project is a direct response to the growing needs of Canadian industry and consumer demand, and specifically the significant increase in container volumes predicted over the next 20 years, for the benefit of BC and Canadian workers and economies.


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