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Environment

Environmental assessment and approvals

The Deltaport Third Berth Project required provincial approval under the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Act and federal approval following a review under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

DP3 was comprehensively reviewed by federal and provincial government agencies through a single harmonized environmental assessment process facilitted by the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office and was open to the full participation of stakeholders and the general public.

On September 29, 2006, we received a provincial environmental assessment certificate for the Deltaport Third Berth Project. The federal comprehensive study of the Deltaport Third Berth Project was completed on December 8, 2006. On December 19, 2006, we received authorization under the Fisheries Act for the project. On January 2, 2007, we received authorization for the Disposal at Sea Permit Application under Canadian Environmental Protection Act for the project.

Habitat compensation

We are committed to developing a sustainable project and are investing approximately $25 million to implement more than 150 commitments to protect the environment, including a construction Environmental Management Plan, a comprehensive Fish and Wildlife Habitat Compensation Plan, a Marine Mammal Monitoring Program and an Adaptive Management Strategy for the intercauseway area.

East causeway habitat compensation project

The East Causeway Habitat Compensation Project will begin construction commenced in September 2009. The project will transform the land beside the Deltaport causeway into diverse marine and wildlife habitat. The project will change public access to protect wildlife. For more information, please read the project notification.

Adaptive management strategy

The Deltaport Third Berth Project Adaptive Management Strategy (AMS) is one of several significant environmental programs being undertaken as part of the Deltaport Third Berth Project (DP3). It is a science-based approach to monitoring and managing the Roberts Bank ecosystem. The approach will allow for the early detection of changes in the inter-causeway ecosystem so that potential significant negative ecosystem trends that are attributable to the DP3 Project can be prevented or mitigated. The AMS was developed in conjunction with and approved by Environment Canada.


The AMS Annual Reports provide interpretation and discussion of the data collected as part of the AMS monitoring program. The reports also evaluate potential trends occurring in the inter-causeway area and include recommendations for modification of the AMS work program to better investigate identified trends or to reduce the scope of work when no impacts are evident.

Scientific advisory committee

In April 2007, a Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) was established by Port Metro Vancouver and Environment Canada to provide scientific and technical advice and recommendations for the implementation of the Deltaport Third Berth Project Adaptive Management Strategy (AMS). The AMS is one of several significant environmental programs that are being undertaken as part of the project. It is a science-based approach to monitoring and managing the Roberts Bank ecosystem that assesses ecosystem trends attributable to the third berth’s construction and operation. 

There are three scientists appointed to the SAC. One scientist was appointed by Environment Canada, one was selected by PMV, and one was jointly selected by PMV and Environment Canada.

Dr. Ron Ydenberg

Dr. Ydenberg is Director of the Centre for Wildlife Ecology, Department of Biological Sciences, at Simon Fraser University. His research interests lie in behavioral ecology and the application of behavioral ecology to conservation and other applied problems. Dr. Ydenberg is also experienced with the application of programs similar to the Adaptive Management Strategy for monitoring and managing ecosystems. He was appointed jointly by PMV and Environment Canada and is chair of the Committee. 

Dr. Terri Sutherland

Dr. Sutherland is a research scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada located at the UBC-DFO Centre for Aquaculture and Environmental Research. She has carried out research projects on Roberts Bank in collaboration with Environment Canada and Natural Resources Canada, and including an inter-causeway biodiversity study as well as a climate change sensitivity analysis. She was appointed to the Committee by Environment Canada. 

Mr. Rowland Atkins, P.Geo.

Mr. Atkins is a coastal and fluvial geomorphologist with Golder Associates. He has extensive experience along the BC coast. Mr. Atkins’ experience in applied geomorphology studies includes work in areas of particular interest at Roberts Bank, including sediment transport by waves and tidal currents, channel stability, bank protection, and coastal erosion. He was appointed to the Committee by PMV.

Members of the SAC are very familiar with the Roberts Bank area, as it has been a focus of much of their own personal work. They have carefully considered eight quarterly AMS reports and have made technical adjustments to the AMS program. The Committee may consult with other independent scientists, engineers and/or technical experts as needed and when such additional expertise is required.

Table of commitments and assurances

During the Provincial environmental review process for DP3, the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) produced a report titled "Deltaport Third Berth Project, Environmental Assessment Report", dated June 2006. The Owner's Table of Commitments and Assurances was included in the EAO report as Appendix E. During the construction phase and first year of the operation phase of the DP3 Project, we are reporting to the EAO and associated working group (composed of various Provincial and Federal Regulators, First Nations groups, municipalities and other stakeholders) on the status of the commitments identified in Appendix E.

Updates to the Owner's Table of Committments and Assurances will be provided on a semi-annual basis during the first year operation of the project, now that the majority of committments are complete.

Project Compliance Report

The Project Compliance Report for DP3 was submitted on November 13, 2009, to the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office (BCEAO). BCEAO held the Project Compliance Review Meeting  on December 1, 2009. At that meeting the BCEAO confirmed that the Deltaport Third Berth Project was in compliance with the Provincial Environmental Assessment Certificate and could now proceed to commence operation. While the official opening is scheduled for mid-January 2010, DP3 formally received approval for operation on December 1, 2009.

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Marine Mammal Monitoring

Marine Mammal Monitoring

One of the project's environmental monitors surveys the project area to watch for marine mammals.

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