A new spill response base will begin construction on Beecher Bay in East Sooke in late October. The project will hire 20 full-time staff by the time it’s operational in fall 2022. (Western Canada Marine Response Corporation)

A new spill response base will begin construction on Beecher Bay in East Sooke in late October. The project will hire 20 full-time staff by the time it’s operational in fall 2022. (Western Canada Marine Response Corporation)

Work to start on new spill response base at Beecher Bay

Docks set to complete by summer 2021, fully operational by fall 2022

Nearly four years of delays after it was first announced, work on a new spill response base is set to begin in late October at Beecher Bay in East Sooke.

The new base will be split between nine response vessels, two landing craft and a workboat stationed at the Cheanuh Marina, and a warehouse and office built upland with East Sooke Road access. The base has begun the hiring process for 20 full-time staff.

This base is part of a larger $150-million expansion by Western Canada Marine Response (WCMRC) into Sidney, Port Alberni, Nanaimo, and Ucluelet to meet enhanced spill response requirements with the Trans Mountain expansion project.

The Beecher Bay base will allow for a six-hour response time if an oil spill occurs, a significant drop from the previous standard of 72 hours along the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

“This base makes me feel more confident that if a boat runs up on the rocks or crashes into another boat, it won’t be tragic,” said Mike Hicks, Juan de Fuca Electoral Area director for the Capital Regional District.

“It doesn’t prevent oil from going into the Strait at all, but it will definitely be a strong frontline to protect our waterways when something happens.”

Hicks pointed out that he’s eager to see an escort tug added to bring outgoing tankers out to Port Renfrew instead of Metchosin’s Race Rocks, to help as an additional safety net.

WCMRC has signed an agreement with Scia’new (Beecher Bay) First Nations to build the land base.

A temporary gangway will be installed during construction to ensure boat owners can access their boats, so the work will not impact neighbouring residents and businesses.

“When the Trans Mountain pipeline plans were put on hold, our enhancements were tied to that too,” said WCMRC communications manager Michael Lowry.

“We’ll start moving vessels in as soon as they are built. We’re looking forward to the docks being completed by summer 2021.”

Work on the docks will begin in late October and be complete next summer. Construction of the warehouse and office will start in July, and the entire base will be fully operational by fall 2022.

READ MORE: New report assesses B.C. coast’s oil spill sensitivity, and it’s high


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

East Sookeoil and gas

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A 1900s writing box found in Greater Victoria contained ink, photos and a letter addressed to Clara McCaubry dated October 14, 1898. (Photo courtesy Suzanne Hervieux)
Mysterious 1900s writing box finds a home among Saanich Archives

Wooden chest owned by early Saanich resident Clara Isabelle McCaubry

Helping others, especially those struggling with mental health issues, keeps MOD Pizza owner Jim Hayden cooking. (RIck Stiebel/News Staff)
(Black Press Media file photo)
Spooky online class cooks up funds for Greater Victoria Imagination Library

United Way Greater Victoria offers how-to for witch cookies, tasty coffin as fundraiser

Murray Rankin has announced he will seek the nomination for the Oak Bay Gordon Head riding in the 2021 provincial election (which could happen in the fall of 2020). The former Minister of Parliament for the Victoria riding from 2012 to 2019.
(MurrayRankin.com)
New Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Murray Rankin says he will use his federal connections

Rankin said being part of NDP majority government gives him a strong voice

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Oct. 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Most Read