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Transportation Assets Risk Assessments to Climate Change at Ferry Terminals in the Atlantic Region
Vincent Leys, Jody MacLeod, Greg Peters
CBCL Consulting Engineers
The objective of this presentation is to summarize recent climate change risk assessments at five key ferry terminals in the Atlantic region, completed for Transport Canada.

Transport Canada (TC) has recently completed Transportation Assets Risk Assessments to Climate Change studies at key facilities across Atlantic Canada. Results will be presented for five ferry terminals in Saint John, New Brunswick; Digby and Caribou, Nova Scotia; and, Wood Islands and Souris, PEI. The TC-owned and operated terminals support critical marine links for inter-provincial transportation, trade and tourism in the region. These assets are increasingly vulnerable to climate and weather-related impacts. Climate change is expected to have serious and ever-increasing impacts on infrastructure through sea level rise, increasing storm intensity and a number of other climate-related parameters. These risks must be identified to make sound asset management decisions. The risk assessments were conducted across the sites following consistent metrics and methodology that included the following steps:

  • Site-specific climate change projections;
  • Risk assessment using baseline and projected climate-infrastructure interactions, using the Public Infrastructure Engineering Vulnerability Committee (PIEVC) Protocol. The work identified operational and infrastructure components that may be at risk of failure, loss of service and/or deterioration from climate change and extreme weather; and,
  • High-level recommendations on remedial action plans to inform asset management and funding by TC. The study addressed both short-term climate change risks (which, in many cases, may be relatively minor) for continued structure maintenance, and long-term risks in the design of the replacement solutions.

The results were compared across the sites to inform priorities for action. Wind-related delays and cancellations were found to represent the dominant risks based on existing conditions, generally followed by occurrences of flooding due to combined high tides, rain events and insufficient drainage. Assets nearing the end of their useful life would require a rebuild for a new lifetime that would, in many cases, include the period later this century when the high-end of climate change impacts seriously affect their structural integrity and operation. In the medium-term to long-term, sea level rise is expected to become the dominant risk across most of the sites. The uniform rating method allows for an objective comparison of risks, which vary depending mostly on site elevation and tidal range. For example, for fixed ferry ramps designed for a given tide range, the impact of sea level rise may be proportionally greater for areas in the Gulf of St. Lawrence (with lower tide range) than for the Bay of Fundy. In the long term, most sites will need to be raised. Before that becomes necessary, dimensions and specifications of future ships must be established for design of wharves, ramps and/or vehicle loading bridges. The sequencing of new construction must also consider other interdependent assets, including but not limited to, marshalling yards and buildings. The design of future infrastructure should use climate projections (notably extreme sea level and wave heights) commensurate with desired lifetime and risk tolerance.

Vincent Leys, Coastal Engineer, CBCL Consulting Engineers
Vincent Leys is a Coastal Engineer with CBCL Consulting Engineers based in Halifax. Over the last two decades, his work has covered a wide range of coastal conditions and infrastructure challenges. He has extensive experience throughout Atlantic Canada's coastal communities and harbour infrastructure, which require functional solutions to meet the challenges of dynamic processes and rising sea levels.


Application of Aliphatic Hydrocarbons in Evaluation of Estuaries
Mahyar Sakari, Ryan Staub, Lisa Neville, James MacDonald
AGAT Laboratories
The objective of this presentation is to share with the audiences how to evaluate the estuaries and port areas to ensure that is not adversely affected by marine activities such as shipping, industries and upstream activities.

Estuaries are the most environmentally productive, ecologically vital and economically important compartment of the marine ecosystem despite being the final destinations of organic pollutants. The majority of organic pollutants end up in these ecosystems where freshwater from rivers meets saline water of the sea. Gravity induced settling is accelerated in estuaries due to the slower movement of particles that results in sedimentation. Sediment is the valuable environmental media, archiving current and historical information corresponding to environmental conditions. Organic pollutants such as fossil fuels and its derivatives are particle reactive materials that travel distances in the riverine ecosystems into estuaries. A quick way to evaluate the health and cleanliness of estuaries is to investigate the gas chromatographic spectra of the aliphatic and certain pentacyclic triterpanes (hopanes of C27-C34) in the sedimentary environment. The presence of terrestrial hydrocarbons is usually dominant over the marine input showing the interaction of natural and anthropogenic influences. A contaminant free estuary is dominated by odd number aliphatic hydrocarbon with a clear absence of hopanes. As per United Nation Environment Program (UNEP) and in general, a total of 10 ug/mg of aliphatic hydrocarbons in dry sediment from the range of C16 to C36 indicates a clean environment. The hydrocarbon input is evaluated through average carbon length of alkane spectrum and traces of anthropogenic activities is identified by carbon preference index throughout an alkane gas chromatography analysis. The shape of the chromatogram easily evaluates the fossil fuel contamination through the interpretation of the unresolved complex mixture (UCM hump). Using this technique the UCM pattern remains and fluctuates within the F3 fraction (F16-F34). When using this technique biogenic interference can serve as a challenge but can be removed by either mathematical deduction or by the application of the biogenic interference calculation (BIC). A single data shot of the alkane fraction is used to identify if natural degradation is occurring where concentrations of pristane and phytane fluctuate against C17 and C18 alkanes. Historical data of the general pattern of alkanes identifies the ecosystem recovery process after major contamination. Alkane data however is an inexpensive evaluation technique though it may not efficiently work for pore water samples associated with sediments where particles are fully eliminated in water samples.

Mahyar Sakari, Ph.D., Laboratory Supervisor, AGAT Laboratories
Dr. Mahyar Sakari is an environmental chemist and a Laboratory Supervisor at AGAT Laboratories. He specializes in the characterization and quantification of petroleum hydrocarbons in crude oil and the environment in addition to his expertise in ecotoxicology and environmental contaminants. Dr. Sakari completed his PhD in Environmental Forensic at the University of Putra Malaysia and held the position of Postdoctoral Fellow at the National University of Malaysia, studying hydrocarbons and radionuclides in the marine sedimentary environment. His experience with transboundary movement of pollutants and stable isotopes led to his involvement in a joint project with Malaysian Antarctica Program (YPASM) in collaboration with British Antarctica Services, studying historical hydrocarbon deposition in ice cores. Dr. Sakari was served as an assistant professor at the State University of Sabah, a consultant and advisor to environmental companies (NOBES, EKOMAR and SCIENS), governments (Iran and Malaysia), the Anzali wetland restoration program (JICA-Japan) and the Regional Expert in Caspian Environment Program (CEP). He is a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK, and an Environmental Professional (EP- ECO Canada) and is the author of several research papers, technical reports and book chapters.


The Randle Reef Sediment Remediation Project: Stage 2 Dredging Status Update
Dave Lawrence and Paul Schiller
Public Services and Procurement Canada
The objective of this presentation is to present the current status of Stage 2 of the Randle Reef Sediment Remediation Project. Stage 2 consists of dredging and capping of PAH and heavy metal contaminated sediments within Hamilton Harbour, Ontario.

The Randle Reef Sediment Remediation Project is the planned clean up of a severely contaminated portion of Hamilton Harbour in Lake Ontario. Randle Reef is the largest polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contaminated sediment site (695,000 m3) on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes and the clean-up project consists of the construction of an engineered containment facility (ECF) as well as the dredging and placement of contaminated sediment from outside the facility into the ECF. The project consists of three stages:

Stage 1 - Construction of the ECF;
Stage 2 - Hydraulic dredging and subaqueous thin layer capping of the contaminated sediment outside the ECF; and,
Stage 3 - Capping of the ECF.

The concept for the Randle Reef Sediment Remediation Project was developed in 2003 and incremental design work and consultation was completed over the following years. Funding and partnership agreements for the project were established in 2013. Funding for the $138.9 million project is provided by multiple parties including Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, the Hamilton Port Authority, Stelco, the cities of Hamilton and Burlington and the Region of Halton.

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) tendered and awarded the Stage 1 ECF Construction contract in 2015, and the work was completed in 2018. In June 2017, PSPC tendered and awarded the Stage 2 Dredging contract to the joint venture of Milestone Environmental Contracting from Ottawa, Ontario, and Fraser River Pile & Dredge from New Westminster, BC. A service contract was awarded in 2018 to Riggs Engineering from London, Ontario, for Stage 2 construction, contract administration and resident site services.

Stage 2 site preparation began in the fall of 2017 with equipment mobilization in 2018. A custom-built hydraulic cutter suction dredge has been manufactured for the project, and a temporary water treatment facility with a capacity of 680 m3/hr has been set up to treat the dredging decant water. Dredging began in 2019 and is scheduled to be completed, along with the thin layer capping, in 2020.

This presentation will provide background on the Randle Reef Sediment Remediation Project, report on the progress and status of the Stage 2 dredging contract, and provide an update on the planned Stage 3 project.

Dave Lawrence, Senior Project Manager, Public Services and Procurement Canada
Dave Lawrence is a professional engineer who has been with the federal government for over 29 years with stints at Parks Canada and Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC). He is currently a Senior Project Manager with the Environmental Services and Contaminated Sites directorate of PSPC, Ontario Region.


In-situ Laser Induced Fluorescence – Novel Applications for Contaminated Sediments Characterization
Ben Sweet1, Kirklyn Davidson2 and Craig Lake2
1SCG Industries Limited
2Dalhousie University
The objective of this presentation is to introduce a novel, cost effective approach to contaminated sediments characterization in-situ.

The advent of high-resolution site characterization (HRSC) technologies has lead to a paradigm shift in contaminated site management. HRSC technologies are diagnostic field tools that leverage sophisticated analytical methods in the field to rapidly produce scale appropriate data in real-time. The speed of assessment and high density of representative data empower the implementation of strategic, cost-effective site management plans.

One such technique relies on the use of in-situ laser induced fluorescence (LIF) spectroscopy for the assessment of petroleum hydrocarbons in soils and groundwater. This application involves driving a fluorometric probe into the subsurface while gathering real-time, continuous data on the spatial distribution, speciation, and relative concentration of hydrocarbons at the centimetre scale. This technique reduces the uncertainty associated with site characterization leading to significant cost and time savings.

Given the strengths of this approach, expanding the capacity of this technology to address additional environmental challenges is of critical importance. While designed for detection of hydrocarbons in unconsolidated materials, this analytical technique can potentially be adapted for a wider range of environmental assessment applications.

Recent research has been undertaken to explore the potential for this technique to spatially delineate organic-rich industrial sediments contaminated with dioxins and furans. This work is predicated on the ability of this approach to collect unique optical “signatures” of materials based on their physiochemical properties. To test this hypothesis, lab and fieldwork has been carried out at a stabilization basin which has received industrial wastewater over the past 50 plus years in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Preliminary lab and field-testing on sediments within the basin are presented as proof of concept for this application. Comparative analysis of system performance to standard gravity cores is presented. This system appears to have significant potential to vertically delineate the presence or absence of contaminated sediments. This will assist in producing more accurate volume estimates for remedial dredging operations with implications for similarly contaminated environments undergoing assessment and/or remediation.

Ben Sweet, Environmental Scientist, Technical Lead, SCG Industries Limited
Ben Sweet is the technical lead for SCG Industries Limited’s high-resolution site characterization tools and services. He has completed his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Acadia University and a Masters in Chemical Engineering from the University of New Brunswick. Ben is a key member of SCG team playing a major role in research and development, remedial action planning, pilot testing, technical design, and contaminated site data interpretation.

In these roles he has completed numerous projects across North America, conducting both large and small-scale remediation projects and high-resolution site characterization investigations. Ben strives to ensure SCG’s clients are equipped with the latest innovative technologies and strategies to help cost-effectively address their environmental liabilities. Ben has presented at numerous conferences and been involved in technical workshops for both government and private organizations.


Sediment Risk Assessment Applied to a Labrador Small Craft Harbour
Gary Lawrence, Jordana Van Geest, Callie Andrews
Golder Associates
The objective of this presentation is to illustrate how recent guidance for sediment assessment and management is applied using a case study of marine risk assessment for a small craft harbour.

In 2018, a marine sediment sampling program (MSSP) and screening level sediment risk assessment was conducted for the Red Bay small craft harbour on the southern coast of Labrador. The purpose of the work was to assist Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) in determining whether risks associated with sediment contamination in the Parcel C2 waterlot are acceptable, as this site is a candidate for divestiture. The MSSP was conducted following recently developed guidance for MSSPs in Newfoundland and Labrador, and was aligned with guidance from the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan process, including recent guidance for working harbours. The “Tier 1” approach included collection of marine sediment, benthic community, and tissue samples both on- and off-Site. Despite moderate sediment contamination by PAHs at two locations close to the finger pier, other lines of evidence (particularly effects-based measures such as benthic community and comparisons to tissue bioaccumulation benchmarks) do not indicate evidence of impairment. Risks for higher trophic receptors (including humans) were also determined to be negligible. This case study illustrates several aspects of risk management common to small craft harbours, and shows how decision making for these sites can be aligned with national and regional guidance for sediment management.

Gary Lawrence, Senior Environmental Scientist, Golder Associates
Gary Lawrence is a senior environmental scientist with over 23 years of experience in aquatic risk assessment, with an emphasis on sediment quality. He has co-authored provincial and national guidance documents on ecological risk assessment, and has worked on numerous federal harbour risk assessments across Canada.


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