Vancouver Fraser Port Authority | Area IV Site Preparation

October 2, 2020

Project status

Permit amendment under review

In July 2022, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority submitted a request to amend condition 18 of project PER No. 17-080. The request is to conduct construction activities outside of standard hours located at Area IV Site Preparation project at Area IV – Richmond Logistics Hub, west of No. 7 Rd Canal in Richmond, British Columbia on federal lands managed by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.

As part of the Project and Environmental Review  for the proposed project under the Impact Assessment Act, the proposed project was posted on the Canadian Impact Assessment Registry with an opportunity for public comment between July 13 and August 11, 2022.

About the proposed amendment:

Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (the Permit Holder) proposes to carry out the delivery and placement of sand (pumped to the site from a vessel in the Fraser River via supply pipeline), as well as removal of sand from other areas of the site by truck. These works are part of the site preparation at Area IV – Richmond Logistics Hub, west of No. 7 Road Canal, and are expected to occur continuously (24 hours, 7 days a week) for approximately 6 months, concluding on February 28, 2023. These activities were previously assessed to take place from Monday to Saturday between 7:00 am and 8:00 pm, and the proposed change in timing of these works requires additional review to determine if the activities will result in significant adverse environmental effects.

Permit amendment issued

On November 9, 2020 the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority approved an amendment, PER No. 17-080-1, for work outside of standard construction hours (as set out in Permit condition No. 18). The amendment approved work to be conducted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, excluding Statutory Holidays to February 28, 2021.

About the amendment

Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (the Permit Holder) will carry out physical activities related to the approved Area IV Site Preparation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, excluding Statutory Holidays for approximately 16 weeks, concluding on February 28, 2021. This required an amendment to condition 18 of the approved project permit No. 17-080 which stated:  

All general construction and physical activities related to the Project shall be conducted  from Monday to Saturday between the hours of 7:00 am and 8:00 pm. No construction and physical activities shall occur during Sundays or holidays. These hours shall not be modified without prior approval from VFPA. 

The scope of the amendment was in relation to the delivery and placement of sand from dredged material (pumped to the site from a vessel in the Fraser River via supply pipeline). The amendment was requested to ensure the dredging vessel can run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as this is how the vessel is operated. The project components associated with this request include creating a two metre high berm around the site to contain the water used to deliver sand, preloading the site by pumping dredged material from the Fraser River to an elevation of 7-12 metres, and the discharge of dewatering water back to the river using a pump and dewatering pipeline after being temporarily treated in drainage swales. Heavy equipment will distribute the sand on site to achieve the desired loading. 

Previous amendments

On June 20, 2019, an amendment was approved by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority to extend the validity of project permit PER No. 17-080 to December 31, 2023. The original project permit validity was from July 6, 2017 to December 31, 2021. The scope of approved works remains unchanged.

Permit issued

On July 6, 2017 a project permit was issued to the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority to begin Area IV Site Preparation project at Area IV – Richmond Logistics Hub, west of No. 7 Rd Canal in Richmond, British Columbia on federal lands managed by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.

The project was approved subject to 41 number permit conditions the permit holder must meet to ensure the project does not result in significant adverse environmental effects.

About the project

The project includes conducting early site preparation in anticipation of future development. The final use of the site has not yet been confirmed and any further development would be the subject of a separate future permit application.

The projectarea is located in Richmond, between Williams Road and No. 7 Road Canal, to the south of the EcoWaste owned property and CN Rail owned property, and east of the Vancouver Airport Fuel Facility lease area. The overall area within which the site is located is referred to as the Richmond Logistics Hub. The 24.3 hectare site is mostly vacant and comprises land of varying grades (ranging from 2m to 8m) with low habitat value vegetation and stockpiles of sand. Works are proposed to be undertaken in two phases – Phase 1 works relate to the eastern 14.6 hectares of the site and Phase 2 works relate to the western 9.7 hectares of the site, as depicted on drawing 17-080-A.

Phase 1 works include installation of a silt fence, site clearing and grubbing, with material to be removed via truck (maximum of 150 truckloads in total for this activity). This will be followed by grading of the site to an elevation of 4.5m – 6m, which requires the placing of approximately
30,000 cubic meters of fill to level the south eastern section of the site. This material will be delivered to the site via truck (maximum of 25 trucks per day over a period of 6 months).

Phase 2 works include placing of settlement gauges and moving the pre-load material from the eastern section of the site, after an initial settling period of two years, to the western 9.7 hectares of the site. Following a settling period of an additional 2 years, the pre-load material is anticipated to require removal by truck. The truck traffic resulting from the removal of the pre-load material is not yet known, therefore a condition has been added requiring the submission of a Traffic Management Plan, detailing truck movement numbers, how truck traffic would be staged, and proposed truck routing.

The overall timeline for the Project is approximately 4.5 years from start on site to removal of Phase 2 preload material.

Contact information

For questions regarding the Project and Environmental Review of the approved amendment, please contact Katherine Huggins, planning assistant, by email or phone at 604.252.9422.