An environmental assessment certificate has been granted to the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for the $1.377-billion Pattullo Bridge Replacement Project.
The ministry proposes a four-lane bridge to replace the existing Pattullo Bridge. The new bridge would cross the Fraser River and be constructed about 100 metres upstream of, and roughly parallel to, the existing bridge location that connects the City of Surrey and the City of New Westminster.
Having considered the Environmental Assessment Office’s (EAO) Assessment Report and the recommendation of the executive director of the EAO to issue a certificate, the ministers of environment and climate change strategy and municipal affairs and housing are confident that construction, demolition, and operational activities would be conducted in a way that ensures that no significant adverse effects are likely to occur.
In addition to the 20 conditions that are part of the project’s environmental assessment certificate, 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 conditions were developed following consultation and input from Indigenous groups, government agencies, communities, and the public.
The ministry is also required to obtain other federal, provincial, and local government permits or 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 require the development of the following plans:
- Indigenous group monitoring plan to ensure opportunities for members of representative Indigenous groups to participate in monitoring activities;
- 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; and
- Indigenous cultural recognition plan.
The EAO consulted with the Cowichan Tribes, Halalt First Nation, Katzie First Nation, Kwantlen First Nation, Kwikwetlem First Nation, Lake Cowichan First Nation, Lyackson First Nation, Musqueam Indian Band, Penelakut Tribe, Semiahmoo First Nation, Squamish Nation, Stz’uminus First Nation, Tsawwassen First Nation and Tsleil-Waututh Nation. As part of the assessment process.
These Indigenous groups 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 EAO and Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure provided funding to facilitate participation in the environmental assessment process.
A record of the factors that the ministers considered in making their decision can be found in the Reasons for Ministers’ Decision at: https://www.projects.eao.gov.bc.ca/p/pattullo-bridge-replacement