New Spill Response Base Planned for Vancouver Harbour

WCMRC is moving forward with construction at a new on-water spill response base in Vancouver Harbour. The base is part of a larger expansion plan that commits approximately $150 million in enhancements to the Canadian spill response regime. The enhancements will double capacity and cut mandated response times in half in South Coast waters.

WCMRC has a fleet of 17 vessels stationed in Vancouver Harbour. The vessels are currently moored at different docks throughout Burrard Inlet. The new base will bring the vessels and crews together in one central harbour location, streamlining operations and significantly reducing spill response times in the harbour and the south coast of B.C.

The enhancements include six new response bases, 120 new employees and 44 new vessels at strategic locations along B.C.’s southern shipping lane. The enhancements also call for 24/7 operations at three of the new bases, including the proposed base in Vancouver Harbour. WCMRC is currently on call 24/7, but does not have crews operating 24/7.

While the region’s existing spill response regime already meets global standards, these enhancements will further improve safety for the entire marine shipping industry. The new measures were based on risk assessments, product testing and oil spill modelling and will provide additional protection for the South Coast of British Columbia.

The on-water base in Vancouver Harbour will be built at 2800 Commissioner Street, near New Brighton Park, on the site of the old Prince Rupert Fishing Co-operative. The new facility will consist of new docks to moor vessels, as well as an office to accommodate response crews. WCMRC’s two large barges will act as a breakwater for rapid response vessels, mobile skimmers, workboats and mini-barges.

We have received a project permit from the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority to build the response base. Water works began the week of September 21, 2020. The following construction notification was distributed to nearby residences on September 4, 2020:
Community Construction Notification Letter – September 04, 2020

Most marine-based activities are now complete. We anticipate starting our land-based construction in mid-March 2021. Construction of the base is anticipated to be complete in fall 2021. The following update notice was distributed to nearby residences on March 5, 2021: Community Uplands Work Notification Letter (February 2021)

The following notice provides an update on construction activities at the site as of October 2022: Community Uplands Work Notification Letter (October 2022)

If you have any feedback, questions or would like more information, please send them to comments@wcmrc.com or 778-991-0003. We’ll continue to keep you informed as this project moves forward.

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