Vancouver Port Authority (VPA) President and CEO, Captain Gordon Houston, recently welcomed the announcement by the provincial Ministry of Environment, that the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) has approved the development of the VPA’s Deltaport Third Berth Project. The project still requires Federal approvals to proceed.

The Deltaport Third Berth Project is part of the Vancouver Port Authority initiative to expand container handling facilities at Roberts Bank in Delta, B.C. The Project has received a provincial environmental assessment certificate following a harmonized review, which was conducted with the federal review agencies, DFO and EC and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

The harmonized review included extensive consultation with the public, the relevant agencies and First Nations, and concluded that the Project adequately addresses potential impacts with the implementation of a number of key environmental commitments on the part of the VPA.

Totaling over 150, these commitments include a Habitat Compensation Program, Adaptive Management Strategy, and Construction Environmental Management Plan. The Federal review is still underway.

“We are pleased to have received provincial approval on the project, and hope to receive a decision from the federal Minister of Environment in the near future,” said Houston. “The VPA has worked collaboratively on this project with the provincial and federal governments, First Nations and the local community for over two years to ensure an environmentally sustainable project which will facilitate the growth of Canadian international trade. This approval is backed by the VPA’s continued commitment to environmental responsibility, community involvement and the implementation of sound mitigation strategies that effectively protect the local environment.”

The Deltaport Third Berth Project is part of a broader Vancouver Port Authority initiative to expand container terminal capacity at the Port of Vancouver, and capture the significant increases in container volumes predicted over the next 20 years. The growth of container traffic on the west coast of North America is due to the rapid expansion of overseas trade with Pacific Rim nations, as well as the growth in containerization of a larger range of products.