Construction of a marine spill response base is back on for Port Alberni and Ucluelet.
Western Canada Marine Response (WCMRC) will hold an open house on Tuesday, March 10 in Port Alberni to discuss plans for the spill response base.
Construction on the base, which is associated with the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, was halted nearly two years ago after the pipeline was stalled. It is part of a larger expansion planned to meet response requirements, and will double WCMRC’s capacity to respond to spills and cut mandated response times in half in South Coast waters, according to the WCMRC. The combined base will serve as the primary response centre for spills off the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Most of the new bases planned for this expansion will be built on Vancouver Island, with a total of nine vessels to be moored between Port Alberni and Ucluelet. The response base is expected to employ approximately 20 people, according to a WCMRC press release.
Construction on the Port Alberni base is supposed to start in March and be completed by 2021. The public is invited to learn more at the open house, 5-8 p.m. in the Best Western Barclay Hotel ballroom (4277 Stamp Ave., Port Alberni). Representatives from the WCMRC will be available to answer questions.
Cards detailing the plan will be mailed to approximately 5,000 homes and businesses in the vicinity of the planned bases.
Port Alberni’s base will include a new response marina and moorage off of Water Street Wharf (there is already a wooden platform built and behind a fence) as well as a pre-engineered steel “structure” containing office and warehouse space near the Port Alberni Port Authority’s office on Harbour Road.
Vessels in Ucluelet will be moored at an existing dock in Ucluelet Harbour.