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The Development of Effective First Nations, Public and Internal Stakeholder Engagement Tools in Esquimalt Harbour Projects
Michael Bodman1, Leroy Banack2, Andrew Smith3
1Department of National Defence
2F&M Management Ltd.
3Public Services and Procurement Canada
The objective of this presentation is to highlight the communication tools and strategies used to engage First Nations, the Public and Internal Stakeholders as part of the effective delivery of multiple marine construction and sediment remediation projects in Esquimalt Harbour.
Abstract

The Government of Canada is investing significant resources into recapitalizing federal infrastructure at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Esquimalt as well as removing contaminated sediments from Esquimalt Harbour. Esquimalt Harbour is within the traditional territory of the Esquimalt Nation and Songhees Nation and is also surrounded by three municipalities. Moreover, Esquimalt Harbour is home to Public Services & Procurement Canada’s Esquimalt Graving Dock (a facility which completes a significant volume of ship construction and repair) as well as the Royal Canadian Navy’s Pacific Fleet. The successful implementation of a number of concurrent marine infrastructure and remediation projects in a small body of water, like Esquimalt Harbour, with a vast number of interested parties requires the development and implementation of a robust set of engagement and communication tools.

The Department of National Defence (DND) recognizes the importance of its relationship with Esquimalt Nation and Songhees Nation who include Esquimalt Harbour as part of their traditional territories. This relationship has created opportunities to generate economic benefits for neighbouring Nations as well as integrate the traditional ecological knowledge and customs into the construction and remediation projects.

CFB Esquimalt, and the construction and remediation projects being implemented there, have also taken an active approach to engaging the surrounding public. Public Information Sessions, social media and community events are some of the tools being used to give the public an opportunity to learn about what is happening at CFB Esquimalt but also opportunities to provide their input and feedback.

At CFB Esquimalt there are a vast number of internal stakeholders associated with ensuring the operational readiness of the Pacific Fleet as well as with all of the construction and remediation projects being implemented in Esquimalt Harbour. To help ensure the ongoing Navy operations effectively coexist with all of the construction and remediation projects, a series of visual communication tools were developed. These tools allowed relevant planning information to flow between stakeholders effectively and each stakeholder could utilize the information for their own planning purposes.

These new tools also simplified the communication of complex activities and provided many overall benefits to the project including:
• A visual tool that allowed the Executive Team to be easily updated on planned Harbour activity on a weekly basis • Reduces many of the project risk factors identified across the program in Esquimalt Harbour (e.g. conflicts between the remedial program, the construction program and/or the operational program) • The visual communication of the remedial sequencing aided both the integration with other harbour projects, as well as helped identify areas subject to the risk of recontamination.

These communication tools are utilized in regular briefings and support the effective governance of the significant volume of capabilities, programs and projects being delivered at CFB Esquimalt.

Michael Bodman, Esquimalt Harbour Remediation Officer, Maritime Forces Pacific, CFB Esquimalt, Department of National Defence
Michael Bodman, B.Sc., PMP, is the Esquimalt Harbour Remediation Officer at Maritime Forces Pacific based in Esquimalt, British Columbia. Michael has been an environmental professional for 19 years and is currently the Project Manager of the Esquimalt Harbour Remediation Project (EHRP). In addition to the EHRP-related duties, Michael provides environmental support to other major capital construction projects at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt. He has also worked on a range of environmental programs related to environmental assessments, solid waste management, environmental audits, air quality and pollution prevention.

 

A/B Jetty Rock Removal and the Integration of Technology into High Risk Marine Construction
Tyler Slobodan1, Jasna Czaharinki2, Jared Wells3
1Defence Construction Canada
2Department of National Defence
3Western Grater
The objective of this presentation is to highlight the underwater ocean rock removal and the various challenges overcome during high-risk marine work.
Abstract

The Department of National Defence (DND) is recapitalizing the A- and B-Jetties at CFB Esquimalt. One of the key activities in recapitalizing the A- and B-Jetties is the removal of underwater rock. The removal of underwater rock began with a test blast program at a location 0.5 km away from B-Jetty. The test blast program and subsequent production blasting at B-Jetty encountered several technical challenges. The technical challenges include constraints blasting next to Victorian-era structures, oily waste tanks and Navy vessels.

After much consultation with experts, limits on vibration (measured in Peak Particle Velocity or PPV) were established to protect sensitive infrastructure during blast events. The PPV limits of 0-5mm/s initially set by the A/B Jetty design team to protect sensitive structures were not readily achievable by the blasting contractor hired to remove the rock at B-Jetty. New technologies were introduced to help reduce risk in raising the PPV limits to a point where blasting in this area of Esquimalt Harbour is both achievable and productive. Specifically, remotely operated vehicles, combined with conventional survey methods, were introduced to monitor a 19th century dry dock and quay wall adjacent to the blasting with sonar imaging. After each blast the drydock structures were surveyed to determine if the blasting had impacted these structures. The blasting contractor also utilized both wired and wireless digital detonators to help minimize the vibrations generated by each blast. The use of digital detonators in this application resulted in a number of challenges that had to be overcome. These challenges included managing the effects of seawater on digital electronics; installing and maintaining digital circuits in cold weather; and impacts of delays in detonation due to other environmental factors (e.g. seals in the marine mammal exclusion zones).

The B-Jetty team performed 18 successful blasts during two in-water work windows by drilling through 10-12 metres of rock beneath an average of 10 metres of water. The blasting contractor double primed every hole, sometimes triple or quadruple decking the charge weights to effectively break the rock while holding to the established vibration limits. In addition, the team developed strategies including the installation of a blasted rock trench between the vulnerable infrastructure and the blasting site to further protect the infrastructure by minimizing the transmission of vibrations through the rock.

Limits to B-Jetty blasting were also required to protect fish and marine mammals by limiting underwater noise. Underwater noise limits were achieved through various combinations of mitigation measures including: changing the depths of the stemming; changing detonator timings; by using three different types of detonators (e.g., pyrotechnic, digital, wireless); and, by installing a double bubble curtain for each blast.

As blasting is constrained to two least risk windows in Esquimalt Harbour, the blasting contractor had to move to a 24/hour schedule for drilling with a blast happening every three days in order to meet the project schedule requirements. Drilling and blasting with this frequency required a significant amount of adaptive management and stakeholder coordination to effectively achieve the blasting program to-date

Tyler Slobodan, Construction Coordinator, Defence Construction Canada
Tyler Slobodan is the marine coordinator on the A/B Jetty project which is valued at over 600 million. His focus over the past four fishery windows has been drilling and blasting to remove the hard ocean rock found in Esquimalt to create berthing space for the new Canadian naval fleet. Before taking over the marine coordinator role Tyler was part of the construction management team who helped DND/DCC build and maintain marine infrastructure that supports the current fleet. Tyler has an extensive knowledge in large institutional/commercial/industrial construction from his time in the private sector holding various roles during that time.

 

 

Fish, Seal, Kelp, Rock and Other Choice Four Letter Words – Exploring the Unique Challenges of Integrating Environmental Compliance and Habitat Offsetting Measures into Marine Construction Projects A/B Jetty Recapitalization Project and Small Boat Float Construction
Shauna Davis1, Becky MacInnis1, Michael Bodman2, Tonya Hughes2
1Defence Construction Canada
2Department of National Defence
The objective of this presentation is to explore the unique challenges of integrating environmental compliance and habitat offsets into marine construction projects.
Abstract

Background: Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Esquimalt is located at the south end of Vancouver Island, BC, and is the primary Pacific homeport for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). CFB Esquimalt is in a significant era of transformation to ensure it effectively supports the RCN into the 21st Century. Two significant marine projects forming part of this transformation are the A/B Jetty Recapitalization Project and the Small Boat Float Project. These projects require significant environmental oversight to protect the marine environment.

Approach/Activities: Construction activities related to the A/B Jetty and Small Boat Float projects have a potentially marked impact on aquatic life including marine mammals, fish, shellfish, and kelp. A harbour-wide remediation project is also underway to address contamination associated with historic use of the harbour. With deconstruction taking place to allow for new infrastructure, remedial actions have taken advantage of the removal of structures to address the contamination in a number of ways.

Activities in these two projects include: jetty deconstruction, underwater bedrock blasting, sediment and rock dredging, shoreline reinforcement and pile installation. A series of environmental studies and assessments were prepared for both projects to successfully obtain authorizations from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). Based on these documents and the authorizations, intensive mitigation measures have been put in place in collaboration with stakeholders and regulators to ensure the marine environment is protected. Artificial reefs were created in advance of construction to offset habitat losses, kelp was salvaged and relocated, and a fish salvage was completed prior to construction start. During construction, marine biologists measured underwater noise levels along with on-going fish and marine mammal monitoring. Water quality monitoring plans were developed based on sediment contamination.

As new information was collected it became clear that some in-water work restrictions needed updating based on information collected during the underwater test-blasting program. One significant challenge was the presence of harbour seals within the 200m pinniped exclusion zone. These seals are generally curious and accustomed to life in an industrial harbour, resulting in some blasts being postponed by several hours or even a day. Following test blasting, project consultants completed an evaluation of the underwater noise thresholds which included a review of currently-available science and marine mammal acoustic thresholds being used in other jurisdictions. Based on this review and the data collected during test blasting, the projects were able to provide adequate rationale to DFO to adopt the more current NOAA 2018 underwater noise limits for marine mammals while reducing the required exclusion zone for pinnipeds from 200m to 100m. This resulted in reduced blast delays, project construction costs and schedule impacts while still ensuring marine mammals are protected.

Lessons Learned: Using an adaptive management approach, modifications to mitigation measures have occurred proactively during construction. Key examples include: adjusting underwater noise thresholds to align with new research/guidance while still protecting marine mammals; refinement of fish salvage at various stages of project implementation; and, field trials to further evolve fish detection and fish exclusion techniques to reduce the impact of underwater blasting on fish.

Shauna Davis, Environmental Services Coordinator, Defence Construction Canada
Shauna Davis is an Environmental Services Coordinator with Defence Construction Canada (DCC) at CFB Esquimalt in Victoria, BC. Shauna has over 19 years of experience in the environmental industry, working on private industry and government projects both as a consultant and with DCC. Shauna is currently the DCC Deputy Project Manager for the Esquimalt Harbour Remediation project and the environmental coordinator for the Small Boat Floats project at CFB Esquimalt, working with consultants, DND and stakeholders to develop project plans and specifications while following the programs through to implementation to ensure the work is completed in compliance with environmental mitigation, monitoring and regulatory requirements.

Becky MacInnis, Environmental Services Coordinator, Defence Construction Canada
Becky MacInnis, B.Sc., P.Chem., P.Ag is an Environmental Services Coordinator with Defence Construction Canada (DCC) at CFB Esquimalt in Victoria, BC. She has over 14 years of experience in the environmental industry, the majority of which has been spent working on federal government projects both as a consultant and with DCC. Becky is currently the environmental coordinator for the A/B Jetty Recapitalization project at CFB Esquimalt, working with DCC construction coordinators, project contractors and consultants, CFB Esquimalt stakeholders and DND client partners to ensure the project work is completed in compliance with environmental mitigation, monitoring and regulatory requirements. 

 

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