Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Proposal for 'Shipbreaking" site at Industrial Park moves forward, but Council seeking some guarantees

The second of two abandoned 
vessels in Port Edward is up 
for dismantling
(photo from District of Port Edward
A proposal to use some of the shoreline in the Industrial Park for a ship breaking site for the dismantling of the FV Fairwind in Port Edward harbour gained a review on Monday evening, though some of the conversation involved some concerns that the city may have with the project.

As part of their Monday evening work, Council received a report from the planning department related to a Temporary Use Permit for a Property on Metlakatla Road, for the purpose of a salvage yard.  

The proposed use of the yard identified as a location to dispose of the vessel FV Fairwind which is currently in Port Edward harbour. 

As we outlined on Monday in our review of the report,  the vessel would be towed to the Prince Rupert site and cut up for transit to Vancouver for Salvage.  

As Council heard on Monday, there will be a public consultation period required prior to the approval of the permit.

The area of the Industrial Park identified as the potential
Ship Breaking site for the dismantling of the FV Fairwind

(From City of PR Agenda package)

In discussion, Councillor Barry Cunningham asked about the oversight of the removal of hazardous materials at Port Edward, noting of the concerns over potential contamination. He observed how shipwrecking is a controversial issue in the province and urged the city exercise caution before any Temporary Use permit is provided for.

"Who is going to make sure all of the hazardous materials are removed out at the site in Port Ed, Transport Canada, Coast Guard, Who? ... You know cause if the hazardous materials aren't removed of this totally before it gets towed over there, you're going to have more than 5,000 dollar bond problem with contamination. You know especially if it's that close to the water I'm assuming they have all their permits with DFO and everyone else to do this?"

In reply, Planning staff advised that they believe that the proper permits had been secured, which did not seem to reassure the Councillor"

"Because normally shipwrecking is a very controversial thing in BC, you know it goes on and on and on and the problem is after it's been done, so I just caution that we make sure those aspects of it are taken care of before. We can, you know even if we give them temporary use permit, they still have got to get permission for DFO and OLE I believe ... So I would think that we should make sure that those other permits are in place"

Mayor Brain noted that he didn't believe that Council had to stop the process, but asked the  City Manager to investigate the situation further, with the City Manager suggesting an amendment to the motion under consideration.

"Yes I was thinking something along those lines that will confirm, that subject to no importation of any hazardous materials into the City of Prince Rupert as a function of this" -- City Manager Rob Buchan

No indication as to when the Public Notification for the public will be made.

You can review the discussion to the topic from the City's Video Archive starting at the 25 minute mark.

More notes on Monday's Council Session can be reviewed from our City Council Timeline Feature.

Further items of interest from past Council discussions is available from our archive page.

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