Sterling Shipyard Remediation and Infill Project

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The Sterling Shipyards Remediation and Infill Project is a remediation and infilling project on the south shore of Burrard Inlet. Subsurface soil at the site is contaminated due to historic industrial activity and requires excavation to remediate the site. Once the contaminated soil is removed, the intertidal area will be backfilled with engineered fill to create a combined 1.1 hectares of new port industrial land to help continued economic growth amidst an industrial land shortage in the region. The port authority is overseeing this project and, if approved and completed, the new industrial land would be leased to a port tenant or operator in the future.

The project includes the:

  • Clearing, grubbing and grading a portion of the upland
  • Installation of a rock berm revetment
  • Removal of 11,300 cubic metres of contaminated materials from the intertidal area in front of a former shipyard
  • Placement of engineered fill in the intertidal area, with a surface layer of gravel to facilitate drainage

Habitat offsetting:
The proposed work will involve the loss of an existing intertidal area. To offset effects to marine habitat as a result of the project, onsite habitat enhancement measures and offsetting are proposed, per Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) policy.

A riprap revetment (mound) is proposed to be installed in the subtidal zone to act as an artificial reef. This will provide structural habitat and spaces for fish refuge and spawning, algae and invertebrates to thrive, and seaweed/kelp to grow, providing additional habitat for fish, and mobile and encrusting invertebrates.

A marine riparian vegetation zone is also proposed behind the top edge of the rock berm revetment. This vegetation zone will include numerous species of grasses, sedges, shrubs and trees.

All in-water work requires a Fisheries Act authorization from DFO.

Due to the location of the project site within port lands, construction noise and air quality effects on adjacent communities and businesses would be expected to be limited. Mitigation measures, including an anti-idling policy, a requirement to ensure all equipment is in good working condition, and dust suppression techniques, will be in place for the construction contractor.

Most work is expected to take place during the daytime, though some work is tidal dependent and may need to be done at night. The appropriate permits and notification will be done in advance of this; we are committed to keeping neighbours informed of engagement opportunities and to considering input received during engagement, along with technical information, input from Indigenous groups and stakeholders, as well as other considerations, to inform project planning.

If approved, construction is expected to begin in spring 2022. Construction is expected to take about 10 months. Most works would be done via barge, with the appropriate monitoring plans in place. Deliveries of fill material are anticipated to be done by truck. At this time there are no plans for future development at the site. Any future proposed development would undergo the PER process.

Hours of work:
Should the project be issued a PER permit, most work is expected to take place during the daytime, Monday to Saturday, 7am – 8pm, though some work is tidal dependent and may need to be done at night. Additional approvals will be sought and community notification would be required prior to work outside of standard hours commencing.

We acknowledge that while port-related developments provide local, regional, and national benefits, they may also have potential impacts on those who live, work, or operate in and around port areas.

Our approach to public engagement is based on two-way communication and open dialogue, working together to ensure the community, the environment, and the economy are all considered during project planning.

Public engagement 

The project is currently under review through the port authority’s project and environmental review (PER) process. As part of this review process, the project team held a 25-business day public engagement period from October 25 to November 29, 2021 to gather input.

For more information on what we heard and how we are incorporating feedback, view the following:

Project documents

Project summary document

Notification postcard

Engagement summary and consideration report

Technical permit documents

All the technical documents submitted for the Project and Environmental Review process can be found here.