Feds approve port expansion

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VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Vancouver Port Authority has planned its upcoming expansion to be friendly on the environment, and the federal government was the most recent group to agree.

Rona Ambrose, Minister of Environment and Minister responsible for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, reported recently that the Deltaport Third Berth Project (DP3) is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.

The project has been referred back to the responsible authorities, Environment Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada to proceed with final authorizations. The project received provincial approval on Sept. 26.

The Deltaport Third Berth Project will increase capacity at Deltaport by 50% by adding a third-berth and 20 hectares of container storage facilities to the existing terminal located at Roberts Bank in Delta, B.C.

“The Deltaport expansion is part of the VPA’s overall strategy to ensure that Canadians benefit from increased trade opportunities with the Asian market,” said Captain Gordon Houston, president and CEO of the VPA. “We have worked hard to develop the project in a sustainable manner and are confident that project mitigation strategies effectively address local issues and concerns – specifically traffic, air quality, marine habitat and seabirds.”

The harmonized environmental review of the project included extensive consultation with the public, relevant agencies and First Nations.

The VPA will carry out over 150 key commitments to protect the environment throughout various phases of project development. Some of these key commitments include an Adaptive Management Strategy to ensure the effective monitoring and management of the Roberts Bank inter-causeway ecosystem, a Habitat Compensation Plan to mitigate for project impacts, and a Construction Environmental Management Plan to address environmental issues during the project construction phase.

The Deltaport expansion project is an agreement between the VPA and terminal operator TSI Terminal Systems (TSI), who will share the capital cost of approximately $300 million. The VPA will oversee the marine construction, habitat compensation, and long-term environmental monitoring components; while TSI will undertake the yard construction and equipment acquisition

Canada has faced increased competition from US and international ports due to terminal congestion. Construction of DP3 is scheduled to begin January 2007, with completion in July 2009.

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