Trans Mountain's Responses to Questions from Belcarra
On May 6th the Village of Belcarra submitted its Information Request No.1 as part of the National Energy Board (NEB) hearings for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP). In early June the project applicant provided responses to Belcarra's first round of questions which covered subjects such as oil containment booms, emergency response plans, on-site spill response capability at the Westridge Marine Terminal (WMT), use of oil dispersants, and impacts on vessel traffic in Central Burrard Inlet. I encourage Belcarra residents to take the time to read both Belcarra's questions and Trans Mountain's responses.
Regarding habitat compensation and offset measures for the expanded Westridge Marine Terminal (WMT), Trans Mountain provided technical background information and responded as follows:
"To satisfy DFO's guiding principle of 'maintaining' or 'improving' the ongoing productivity of Commercial, Recreational, or Aboriginal (CRA) fisheries through habitat creation, restoration or enhancement, Trans Mountain is investigating the feasibility of constructing subtidal rock reef habitat. Given that the Westridge Marine Terminal is located within the Eastern Burrard Inlet Rockfish Conservation Area, the subtidal reef would be specifically designed to provide habitat for juvenile and adult rockfish. However, the reef would also provide high value habitat for a variety of other species targeted by CRA fisheries in the area, including lingcod, red rock crab and Dungeness crab. Pacific salmon would also benefit from the reef, as it would provide refuge and foraging habitat for juveniles during their outbound migration from Burrard Inlet."
"Trans Mountain is committed to working with DFO, participating Aboriginal communities, Port Metro Vancouver (PMV) and other stakeholders to identify the most appropriate means of offsetting serious harm to marine fish and fish habitat. While the construction of a subtidal reef is currently the preferred approach to offsetting, other measures may be recommended by DFO, participating Aboriginal communities, and other stakeholders. Trans Mountain will endeavour to meet with these parties to obtain feedback on the proposed subtidal reef option, and to solicit recommendations for other suitable offsetting measures. Following these meetings, Trans Mountain will prepare a preliminary marine fish habitat offsetting plan and will submit this to the NEB in Q3 2014."
Belcarra residents will also be interested in Trans Mountain's response regarding mitigation of noise and light disturbances from both the WMT and tankers waiting to be loaded at WMT:
"When the detailed design of Westridge Marine Terminal (WMT) has progressed to the point where lighting can be selected, an area lighting study will be done. While the purpose of area lighting is operational safety, impact to the surrounding communities will be given due consideration. The results will be used to inform the locations and types of lighting selected."
"When the detailed design of WMT has progressed to the point where mechanical equipment can be selected, an additional, predictive noise modelling study will be done. The results will be used to determine what, if any, noise reduction measures are required."
Section 4.8.1 of Kinder Morgan Canada's 'Tanker Acceptance Standard' states, "All vessels shall conduct operations within Canada, specifically PMV, in accordance with any additional guidance provided by the Terminal, and always respectful of the rights of the residents in surrounding neighbourhoods to not be unnecessarily disturbed by noise, odours and health or other concerns from vessel operations. Such additional instructions may be verbal or written in nature and shall be issued by the Loading Master."
"Trans Mountain has been actively working with Port Metro Vancouver (PMV) to develop guidance for vessels to minimize the effects of light and noise on residents around the Port." [Note: On May 26th, 2014, PMV implemented changes to its 'Port Operations Manual' which requires all vessels using the Port to comply with new noise and lights guidelines.]
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Village of Belcarra
4084 Bedwell Bay Road
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