Locals in North Vancouver are voicing concerns over Seaspan Shipyards’ plan to expand its dry dock facilities which they fear will impact their quality of life by causing more noise and air pollution.
Seaspan has applied to the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority to add two dry docks to the west of its existing operations.
“The location directly impacts the vibrant community hub of LoLo including the Spirit Trail, the Burrard Pier, various restaurants, a playground and many other services, not to mention the marine life which inhabits the waters,” says local resident Darlene Hilden in an online petition to the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.
Hilden says if Seaspan had asked the neighbouring community for input prior to the application, an obvious choice for an eastern location would have been indicated.
“Although the proposal states that the loudest noise from high pressure washing usually occurs between 7 am and 6 pm which is not true. For example, on Monday, July 12th the power washing continued to 10 pm and many other times even to midnight,” she says.
Locals are concerned not only about possible increased level of noise but also more air pollution. “For anyone who lives in close proximity, the concern regarding air quality is based on the ongoing need to clean fine particulates off patio furniture on almost a daily basis,” Hilden writes. She expresses concern over Vancouver Drydock planning to obtain a permit for air emissions associated with the existing operations.
Read the full petition here.
Kris Neely, the senior manager of coporate affairs, said Seaspan welcomes all feedback through the ongoing public comment period, which began on June 25 and extends through to July 30, 2021.
“We encourage the community to continue providing feedback, directly to us through our online feedback form, by email (InfoDrydock@Seaspan.com) or to the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (PER@portvancouver.com). We were pleased that last week’s virtual community meetings were well attended – 55 people were at the July 13 meeting and we had 72 at the meeting on July 15,” she said.
The full sessions of last week’s virtiual community meeting were recorded and are available on the website, along with the full chat transcripts from each meeting and answers to questions that were not answered during the meetings due to time constraints.
Some questions were directed to the port authority and those are forthcoming.
“Right now, we are reviewing the feedback as it comes in and working to address questions. Once the public comment period ends, our project team will review the feedback in its entirety to determine what further mitigations we may propose as a result of the comments. We will then provide this report to the port authority for their team to consider as part of their review of our application,” Neely said.
“As part of our application preparation, we submitted several technical studies including potential impacts on air quality. As you may also be aware, the determination of allowable air emissions whether that is waterfront industrial activity or vehicle emissions is set by Metro Vancouver. We have a responsibility and an obligation to operate within those allowable levels for the health and safety of our employees and those who live and work around us. I can assure you that the emissions from our operations including with the new proposed activities will continue to be well below allowable limits.”
Neely said Seaspan recognizes that it has a responsibility to minimize the impact of its operations on the neighbours and the environment and this has been an important consideration for the company.
“Proximity to others in the neighbourhood is one of the reasons why we are proposing to shift our operations south, away from the shoreline.”