Ausenco’s skills and experience in marine environmental monitoring, as well as our relationships with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Transport Canada, enabled PCL to complete in-water work both inside and outside of the Fisheries Act Authorization established timelines and apply innovative mitigation approaches and techniques.
The Johnson Street Bridge, spanning downtown Victoria’s Inner Harbour, is almost 100 years old and no longer meets today’s safety, accessibility, and capacity needs. In January 2013, PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc. (PCL) was awarded the contract to construct a replacement bridge. PCL retained Ausenco to support them in all aspects of construction environmental management.
Ausenco acted as the Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP) for this project and regularly assisted PCL, the City, and their consultant to liaise with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and Transport Canada (TC) regarding work in or near the water. On behalf of PCL and the City of Victoria (the City), we obtained a facilities alteration permit and prepared an environmental management plan (EMP) to support a Fisheries Act Authorization (FAA). Our team reviewed, revised, and signed off on numerous detailed environmental work plans (EWPs) prepared by PCL, and provided environmental training to PCL personnel and their subcontractors. Our independent environmental monitors (under the full-time supervision of the QEP) conducted almost 200 site visits to observe marine and upland construction activities, identifying potential environmental risks, and working with PCL to prevent and/or mitigate those risks.
Our team compiled and interpreted historical soil and sediment investigation work carried out by others and completed a limited amount of new intrusive investigation work at the site. Using this information, we completed a risk assessment and developed risk management and contaminated soil management plans. These were used as the basis for a successful application for a Waste Discharge Authorization (WDA) permit from the BC Ministry of the Environment (MOE), for which we also completed successful and seamless Public Notification. The WDA permit allows existing contaminated soils to stay on site, near Victoria’s inner harbor, under an engineered cap. We developed and negotiated this approach with the MOE in advance, and communicated with the MOE during the implementation process. Our independent environmental monitors verified that the contaminated soil management plan was carried out as designed and completed follow up WDA permit monitoring and reporting.
Ausenco’s skilled team, as well as our relationships with DFO and TC, enabled PCL to complete in-water work both inside and outside of the FAA established timelines and apply innovative mitigation approaches and techniques. As a cost savings measure, we trained PCL to do some of their own baseline and background environmental monitoring; we reviewed this work and supported PCL as they carried this out. In our role as QEP and Independent Environmental Monitor, we helped PCL to achieve an outstanding environmental track record on this project, preventing environmental impacts and protecting the upland and marine life and habitat of Victoria’s Inner Harbour.