The Port of Vancouver jurisdiction spans about 350 kilometres of shoreline. The lands under our jurisdiction are used for a variety of purposes, ranging from port operations and commercial enterprises, to conservation areas and local parks. Tenants and terminals leasing and operating on port land are required to follow all applicable environmental standards as part of their tenancy agreements.
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority identifies and assesses potential environmental risks associated with port operations. Where environmental risks are identified, we take action and collaborate with partners in government, the private sector and industry, environmental and conservation organizations, local communities and academic experts to eliminate or mitigate those impacts. Protecting the lands under our jurisdiction is of paramount importance and there are a number of initiatives to promote accountability and environmental responsibility throughout the port:
Environmental site assessments
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority requires tenants to conduct environmental site assessments at the start of their tenancy, to establish the baseline environmental condition of the leased property, and then again at the end or renewal of their tenancy, to determine any changes in the environmental state of the lands. Where contamination is identified, tenants are responsible to clean up and remediate to accepted criteria. For additional information about our environmental site assessment process, please refer to the Baseline and Exit Assessments Guidance Document.
Site remediation and land renewal strategy
An unfortunate consequence of over 100 years of industrial waterfront activity is contamination of port lands and water. The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority uses a combination of remediation and risk management approaches to address sites that have been contaminated through past activities.
Depending on the condition and expected future use of the site, affected sites are treated with a variety of remedial techniques that may include on-site treatment, or containment, or removal and disposal of contaminants at appropriate facilities.
Our the Port of Vancouver’s land renewal strategy is based around four objectives, all with the underlying intent of prioritizing remediation impacted lands:
- building awareness and capability around the challenges and benefits of renewing impacted lands
- finding and using financial and technical mechanisms to reduce costs to renewing sites
- attracting investment and partnerships for site development opportunities through education and awareness programs
- implementing and occupying renewed properties by creating safe and economically desirable lease areas
Located in North Vancouver, Maplewood Flats is a 24-hectare upland site preserved by the port authority as a conservation area. The conversation area is located on the Pacific Flyway area and provides local birdwatchers with a protected environment to enjoy nature up close.
Parks and recreation
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority contributes to the development of local parks that border our jurisdiction. For example, New Brighton Park, which the port authority created jointly with the City of Vancouver, features a playground and outdoor pool – all with a beautiful view of the inlet and mountains.