June 17, 2009 - Minutes

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City of Richmond Meeting Minutes

Public Works & Transportation Committee



Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Anderson Room

Richmond City Hall


Councillor Linda Barnes, Chair

Councillor Sue Halsey-Brandt, Vice-Chair

Councillor Derek Dang

Councillor Harold Steves


Councillor Ken Johnston

Call to Order:

The Chair called the meeting to order at 4:30 p.m.








It was moved and seconded



That the minutes of the meeting of the Public Works & Transportation Committee held on Thursday, May 21, 2009, be adopted as circulated.











Wednesday, July 22, 2009 (tentative date) at 4:30 p.m. in the Anderson Room.








Amy Hennessy, Community Relations Manager and Joel Lavers, Project Manager, Terasen Gas Inc. advised Committee on the progress of Terasen’s natural gas transmission main replacement project.



Ms. Hennessy briefly described the project that involves the replacement of 1,400 metres of pipeline within the existing river crossing right of way under the South Arm of the Fraser River. Two pipelines under the riverbed currently serve Terasen’s customers in Richmond, Vancouver, the City and the District of North Vancouver, West Vancouver and parts of Burnaby. 



Ms. Hennessy explained that during the work to drill and lay the two new pipelines, one of the current pipelines will continue in service. The two new pipelines will: (i) meet Terasen’s seismic criteria so that they do not fail in the event of an earthquake event, and (ii) be placed one on top of the other, unlike the two current pipelines that run side by side. When the two new pipelines are functioning, the both current pipelines will be abandoned.



Further details of the project were then highlighted by Ms. Hennessy and Mr. Lavers:




the pipeline upgrade addresses erosion concerns on the banks of the South Arm, and makes Terasen’s pipeline delivery system compatible with the City’s dike improvements;




Terasen will award its tender for the project during the week of June 15, 2009, and the work: (i) will start in the summer of 2009, (ii) continue until its projected conclusion in December, 2009, and (iii) will extend into the spring of 2010 to accommodate the clean up phase;




Terasen has worked closely with City staff to communicate the progress of the project, and Terasen has also consulted with other stakeholder groups regarding how the work will be conducted;




in August, 2009, work will be done on the Richmond side of the South Arm, including the construction of a pipe lay-down area that will resemble a temporary road, complete with gravel surface; the top soil taken up will be preserved and, at the conclusion of the project, and with the aid of an agrologist, will be re-laid in order to allow the property’s tenant to continue farming activities;




drilling rigs will be set up on either side of the South Arm; Terasen has met with residents of the Kingswood Industrial Park to: (i) notify them of the equipment installation, (ii) answer any questions, and (iii) ameliorate any concerns; and




during the drilling process under the river bed Terasen has scheduled around the clock, “24/7”, activity;



Discussion ensued between Committee and the Terasen Gas delegates with regard to the following points:




the use of horizontal drilling to a depth of approximately 55 metres would avoid and preclude any adverse effects on wildlife habitats;




dredging was done in 1959 and again in 1981, for past pipeline projects, but drilling now replaces dredging and is effective in ensuring the pipelines withstand a potential seismic event of 1 in 2,475 years;




Terasen is assessing all its pipelines and will know in three years time if other pipelines need to be brought up to the same seismic design standard;




the new pipelines should meet customer need for natural gas transmission for the next 50 years; the materials used in the new pipelines should ensure the pipeline lifespan of approximately 100 years;




four actions will mitigate any noise issues: (i) the contractor will comply with the City’s noise restriction bylaw; (ii) during construction, Terasen field inspection staff will survey the area to ascertain sound mitigation, (iii) Terasen will use buffering equipment to reduce the noise of drilling, and (iv) the contractor must operate a certain distance away from property occupied by residents or industrial business owners; and




the ‘24/7’ drilling schedule will be undertaken during a 5-week period in August/September, 2009 and the second of two 5-week periods is in late November/early December, 2009.



A brief discussion ensued regarding Terasen’s effort to communicate information about the project to the general public.   Ms. Hennessy advised that Terasen is abiding by staff’s request to erect signage in the neighbourhood of the construction zone to advise the public of construction activities.



A comment was made that information regarding the (i) purpose and (ii) the duration of Terasen’s natural gas transmission main replacement project be submitted to the City’s Advisory Committee on the Environment (ACE) through ACE’s staff liaison. In response to Committee’s request that Terasen communicate details regarding the project to ACE, Ms. Hennessy stated that Terasen would do so.



A further comment was made that Terasen should be commended for their conservation of original topsoil and their plan to re-lay the topsoil at the construction site.



The Chair thanked Ms. Hennessy and Mr. Lavers for their presentation to Committee.









(File Ref. No.:  10-6650-01/2009-Vol 01) (REDMS No. 2653154, 2627212)



A brief discussion among Committee, Dave Semple, Director of Parks and Public Works Operations and Doug Anderson, Manager, Water Services, took place, and particularly on the following:




in recent years the City has achieved a more consistent level of water quality monitoring; the completion of Metro Vancouver’s $650 million water filtration plant in 2009 will enhance quality monitoring even more;




automated flushing technology requires an investment of approximately $5,000, with an added cost for installation; the City already has the equipment and it is installed;




the source of turbidity is at the watershed source, and caused by such events as landslides or tunnelling for the Canada Line;




watering programs, such as the water barrel program, have had a positive impact;




the City’s message to residents is that good, clean, safe and pure water comes from their taps;




the need for a succession plan to replace water workers who retire, and actions taken by management to recruit, train and retain incoming staff; and




the City website can be used as a communication tool to advise residents regarding the impending roll-out of information forthcoming from Metro Vancouver when the filtration plant comes on line.



A suggestion was made that in future Water Quality staff reports, a map could be included identifying the location of turbidity events.



In response to the Chair’s suggestion that staff explore educational opportunities and activities, in addition to the popular Project Wet and the well-attended annual Public Works Open House at the City’s Works Yard, to assist in communicating information to residents regarding the delivery of safe water, Mr. Semple advised that staff would do so. 



The Chair requested that Mr. Semple and Mr. Anderson congratulate the water operators who work to keep the City’s drinking water safe.



It was moved and seconded



That the 2008 Annual Water Quality Report dated June 4, 2009 be approved.









A comment was made that a resident had alerted the City’s Advisory Committee on the Environment (ACE) with regard to pesticide spraying conducted along railroad tracks in Richmond. It was suggested that Provincial Government agencies could reinstate the past practice of notifying neighbouring residents before spraying is undertaken.



As a result of the suggestion the following motion was introduced:



It was moved and seconded



That a letter be written to the Provincial Government under the Mayor’s signature requesting that, in advance of pesticide spraying, residents receive a courtesy notice from the provincial agency or company undertaking the spraying.










TransLink Public Consultation




Victor Wei, Director, Transportation, advised that TransLink is hosting a community consultation workshop in Richmond on June 24, 2009 at the Richmond Cultural Centre from 6:30 to 9:00 pm to inform the general public regarding the scenarios facing the public in terms of funding options. He added that Richmond is the final public meeting hosted by TransLink and that staff will (i) attend and (ii) provide Council with a summary of the Richmond workshop. In addition, staff will inform Council when TransLink releases its report regarding the outcome of its series of open houses. 




In response to a request from the Chair Mr. Wei advised that members of advisory committees and task forces would be made fully aware of the opportunity to attend TransLink’s June 24, 2009 public meeting in Richmond.





VCalm on Steveston Highway




A brief discussion took place with regard to the VCalm technology installed on Steveston Highway, in an effort to: (i) advise drivers of their speed, and (ii) encourage drivers to drive at, not above, the speed limit. 




A comment was made that some residents living near the VCalm signage had expressed concern that, in light of a recent hit-and-run incident that was attributed to a driver’s response to the flashing speed limit, the VCalm signage may be a safety issue.




Mr. Wei stated that the nighttime, hit-and run incident is the first incident of possible driver distraction caused by the VCalm that staff has been made aware of.




He further advised that staff is reviewing the situation and, if warranted, would make any necessary modifications, such as a decrease in the intensity of the light of the sign.





BC Hydro Recognition




The Chair commended staff for receiving this year’s BC Hydro Power Smart Award for leadership in energy management. She noted that at the May 27, 2009 awards ceremony, BC Hydro recognized that Richmond’s long-term commitment to energy saving resulted in an overall corporate energy use reduction of over 2.8% in 2008.





Gibbons Drive




In response to a query from the Chair regarding the issue of traffic calming on Gibbons Drive, Mr. Wei advised that staff has drafted a response to an inquiry regarding proposed speed bumps and such a response would be copied to the Mayor and Councillors.





Ditches on Broadway




In response to a query Mr. Semple advised that staff is reviewing the ditches on Broadway Street.








It was moved and seconded



That the meeting adjourn (5:30 p.m.).








Certified a true and correct copy of the Minutes of the meeting of the Public Works & Transportation Committee of the Council of the City of Richmond held on Wednesday, June 17, 2009.



Councillor Linda Barnes


Sheila Johnston

Committee Clerk