The provincial government has issued an environment assessment certificate to the Pattullo Bridge replacement, allowing the project to move forward.
Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson decided to issue the certificate to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, according to a news release Thursday (May 2).
According to the ministers’ decision, they are “confident” the construction, demolition and operational activities “would be conducted in a way that ensures that no significant adverse effects are likely to occur.”
There are 20 conditions, which were developed following consultation and input from Indigenous groups, government agencies, communities and the public, that are part of the project’s environmental assessment certificate. In addition to the conditions, design requirements are specified in the certified project description, “which are legally binding requirements that the ministry must meet to maintain compliance with the certificate.
The release says that the Environmental Assessment Office consulted “deeply” with the 14 Indigenous groups, who “actively participated in the working group and technical discussions, discussed issues and concerns, refined the methodology for assessing impacts on Aboriginal interests and worked on the development of the proposed conditions and co-drafting of the decision materials.”
The MoTI, according to the release, is also required to obtain other federal, provincial and local government approvals, including a project and environmental review permit from the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, “in order to proceed with construction of the project.”
Key conditions for the project, according to the report, require the following plans:
• Indigenous group monitoring plan
• construction and demolition environmental management plans
• fish and fish habitat monitoring and mitigation plan
• fish and wildlife habitat offsetting plan
• cultural and archaeological resources management plan
• Indigenous cultural recognition plan
The new four-lane crossing will be built roughly parallel to the existing bridge and about 100 metres upstream.