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BC Ministry of Environment Creosote Log Removal Pilot Project in Tsawwassen causeway Vasiliki S. Karpouzi prepared for the Shared Waters Alliance Meeting.

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Presentation on theme: "BC Ministry of Environment Creosote Log Removal Pilot Project in Tsawwassen causeway Vasiliki S. Karpouzi prepared for the Shared Waters Alliance Meeting."— Presentation transcript:

1 BC Ministry of Environment Creosote Log Removal Pilot Project in Tsawwassen causeway Vasiliki S. Karpouzi prepared for the Shared Waters Alliance Meeting January 28, 2009

2 outline 1. background  what is creosote? how is it identified? 2. creosote log remediation projects in WA  partners, funding, results 3. 2007 field survey in Boundary Bay  area, approach, results 4. 2008 pilot project  rationale, logistics, results, next steps

3 Creosote is used as wood preservative for railway ties, bridge timbers, pilings, and large-sized lumber. Creosote acts as pesticide, herbicide and fungicide, killing wood-boring animals and micro-organisms. In BC, creosote is regulated by the Integrated Pest Management Act, and the Environmental Management Act. In BC, creosote accounts for ~ 70% of the total quantity of pesticide used (~ 6,000 tonnes; source: British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, 1995). Waste products are generated when structures are decommissioned. creosote facts

4 Creosote has been shown to be toxic. To humans: Long-term exposure may be linked to eczema, lung cancer, mutations, teratogenesis, and DNA damage. To marine life: Creosote may cause reduced survival, growth and reproductive success to mussels, oysters. Creosote may cause reduced growth and survival, morphological deformities and oedema, abnormal behavioural patterns to fish. To habitat: Creosote slowly works its way downward in the sediment, where it persists until degraded, re- suspended, bio-accumulated, or removed by dredging. creosote facts, cont’d

5 creosote clues Tar-like substance. Ring of black around knots in wood. Ring of black at the ends of log/piling. Treated logs will usually rot from the inside first. Injection marks throughout the wood (look like slash marks). Dry or old wood may have a grey coloring. Peel a layer off, you may see or smell the creosote inside (scratch and sniff test).

6 transboundary issue In 2007, Governor Gregoire and Premier Campbell signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the commitment to take action together on our shared Pacific Ocean. The MoU established the BC – WA Coastal Ocean Task Force to coordinate and act on coastal and ocean issues of transboundary relevance in the shared waters of Puget Sound and Georgia Basin. Creosote-treated log removal (habitat restoration) was one of the activities identified WA and BC can undertake together.

7 creosote remediation in WA 2002-2003: WA Department of Ecology, Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee (MRC), City of Bellingham Whatcom County Marine Creosote Piling Remediation Project. ~ 100 t creosote logs removed. ~ USD $ 70,000 spent. 2005-2007: NorthWest Straits Commission, WA Department of Natural Resources, local MRCs Removal efforts expanded to all seven Northwest Straits Counties. > 1,100 t creosote logs removed. ~ USD $ 600,000 spent. 2007-2009: Governor Gregoire has offered USD $ 4 million to fund removal efforts. Ministry of Transportation and WA Ferries are funding removal of creosote-treated timber from 19 ferry terminals in Puget Sound.

8 creosote remediation in WA, cont’d Remediation projects in WA have demonstrated that creosote is easily identified and removal is clearly achievable. The logs can be systematically identified, measured, and recorded using trained volunteers. Project success is attributed to the partnerships that have been developed with local government, industries, non-profit groups and individuals. BC pilot project was modelled after the Whatcom County Marine Creosote Piling Remediation Project.

9 BC’s Pilot Project in Boundary Bay In 2002-2003, the Whatcom County MRC inventoried the shores of Blaine. 321 m 3 of debris was found, 181 m 3 was removed. In 2007, Friends of the Semiahmoo Bay Society surveyed:  Tsawwassen, south beach of the causeway.  Crescent Beach, from 1001 Steps to Blackie Spit.  White Rock, from Peace Arch Park to 1001 Steps. In 2008, Ministry of Environment staff and Friends of the Semiahmoo Bay Society surveyed:  Same areas as in 2007.  Mud Bay. Site selection: Accessibility, Recreational, and Ecological Value. Whatcom County 2002/03 creosote debris inventory Boundary Bay 2007 survey

10 Pilot Project: rationale Why remove creosote from selected sites? 6 great reasons… Boundary Bay is an Important Bird Area with mudflats, eelgrass beds and salt marshes that support over 1 million birds every year. Tsawwassen hosts one of the three Great blue heron rookeries of Boundary Bay. Extensive eelgrass beds are also present. Sites are important recreation areas. There are a number of effective stewardship programs in place. Beaches are accessible by road and/or water. Creosote remediation is underway south of the border in Semiahmoo Bay.

11 Pilot Project: logistics Partners: Cities of Surrey, Delta, and White Rock First Nations: Tsawwassen, Semiahmoo, Katzie, Kwantlen FNs Fraser River Estuary Management Program: http://bieapfremp.org/fremp/ projectreview/index.html Minimize disturbance. No harmful alteration of fish and habitat. Operation of heavy machinery above the intertidal zone.

12 Pilot Project: logistics, cont’d Concord Excavating & Contracting Ltd. was hired to haul and dispose of the debris. Debris was disposed of at the Ecowaste Industries Landfill site in Richmond BC. Tools: GPS, data sheets, stake flags, drills, cameras Safety gear: gloves, sunglasses, hats, sunblock!!!

13 Pilot Project: 2008 data collection Information included in the creosote log inventory: date and location of field survey. lat/long coordinates of logs and debris. description of debris (i.e., beam/pole/plank, light/heavy soak, size). description of the area where debris was found (e.g., local landmarks). suggested removal method (by hand or crane). Reference photographs for each piece of debris.

14 2008 creosote debris removal Video of creosote debris removal from Tsawwassen causeway

15 2008 creosote debris removal, cont’d In September 2008, 9.95 tonnes of creosote-treated debris were hauled and disposed of from the south beach of the Tsawwassen causeway. The overall cost for the Tsawwassen pilot project was CAD $ 5,986.50 (CAD $ 602 per tonne of debris). operating the excavator, renting the disposal container, labour CAD $ 3,802.50 disposal of debris CAD $ 2,184.00

16 2009 outlook The Ocean and Marine Fisheries Branch will continue removal efforts in high priority areas that have already been identified (i.e., Boundary Bay). MoE’s objective is to expand creosote-treated log and wood debris removal initiatives to other sensitive marine habitats in BC (e.g., Fraser estuary). Rationale: Creosote is toxic. Beach-goers climb on creosote-treated logs/poles and haul them around to build forts. Adults sit on them and burn them for campfires. Danger to fish, wildlife, and habitat. Danger to human health. Many people are unaware of the dangers of handling creosote or of ingesting smoke from the fires.

17 Acknowledgements Washington State Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society Concord Excavating & Contracting Ltd.

18 Thank you for your time and attention!


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