Wolverine Terminals may be moving into Prince Rupert, and the new neighbour is doing their research.
On March 12, the Alberta-based company released a draft of their Environmental Emissions Evaluation (EEE) for the Prince Rupert Marine Fuels Project. At the first open house in October 2017, Graham Avenue resident Jan Jesser told the Northern View he was concerned about noises and smells that may come from the project. His questions and others are answered in the EEE, which also outlines consultation with First Nation bands, impact on heritage and archaeological sites and salmon.
Residents of Graham Avenue
Some of the people most impacted live approximately 110 metres from the proposed marine berth and on a bluff 30 metres above the industrial area. Graham Avenue is the closest residential area to the proposed project, and one of the biggest concerns raised by neighbours was noise.
Wolverine Terminals tested noise levels and air quality at 10 homes within three kilometres of the site to determine the baseline of pre-existing sounds. These sounds came from: CN rail yard operations, traffic, ships in the harbour and overhead planes. At one of the test homes, the worst-case scenario would be during the construction phase, which the company said could be louder than “the threshold of noise complaints”.
Results from the 2016 Prince Rupert Airshed Study showed good air quality near the site. The company stated in the EEE that volatile organic compounds (VOC) would not be an issue. Possible air emissions are listed as diesel combustion of generators, boilers, heaters, tugboats and fugitive emissions. To tackle these impacts, Wolverine Terminals aims to avoid tug engine idling, maintain equipment properly and develop an air emission management plan.
First Nations impacts
The project would be in the traditional territory of six First Nations bands, including Metlakatla, Lax Kw’alaams, Gitxaala, Kitselas, Gitga’at and Kitsumkalum. The EEE states all of the bands have been provided with a project description and an early review of the EEE draft, as well as an opportunity to give input, with ongoing opportunities to comment.
Four of the six bands, Gitxaala, Kitselas, Gitga’at and Kitsumkalum have brought up negotiations for an impact benefits agreement.
Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla both raised concerns about effects to archaeological and heritage sites. Thirty-six archaeological and three heritage sites were recorded within three kilometres of the site. Human remains supposedly lie on the closest archaeological site, but the EEE states no evidence has been found. Wolverine Terminals will create a management plan should they find any remains, sites or artifacts.
In a breakdown of First Nations consultations, the EEE notes Kitsumkalum disagreed with the consultation process, but the document did not go into detail.
One of the concerns is how water quality will be affected during the construction phase. To avoid harm, Wolverine Terminals plans to work during “the least risk window for fish as well as monitoring water quality and underwater noise. Proposed mitigation during operations includes restricting the location of fuel transfers to avoid sensitive fish habitats, including canopy forming kelp beds, eelgrass beds and Pacific herring spawning locations, and restricting timing of fuel transfers to avoid extreme weather conditions.”
An open house will be held on March 21 at 4 p.m in the Crest Hotel. The public has until April 11 to comment on the EEE, and a regulatory decision is expected mid-2018. Construction may begin in early 2019.