North Vancouver waterfront becomes a classroom for local students
North Vancouver’s waterfront is home to many of the businesses that make up the Port of Vancouver and plays a vital role in the efficient, reliable and sustainable movement of goods, including Canadian exports and many imported goods we rely on in our day to day lives. This important stretch of shoreline also serves as a classroom for local Grade 5 students.
Neptune is a proud sponsor and participant in The Working Waterfront Education Program, which gives students a hands-on learning experience at Canada’s largest port and allows them to explore the waterfront outside the classroom.
“We’re delighted to host this program and tour students through our working waterfront,” said Roxie Giles, a retired teacher who leads the program. “We designed the program to highlight the Port’s operations and its role in Canada’s economy, and the students’ excitement for this type of active learning is really inspiring.”
Social Studies is a key focus of the Grade 5 curriculum. Students are learning about geography, industry, trade and transportation as well as Canada’s natural resources and community development. The Working Waterfront Educational Program, available to no charge to schools in School District 44, is a fun and immersive way for students to gain knowledge about the importance of North Shore waterfront industries to their community and how these companies connect North Vancouver to countries around the world.
After a classroom session with Roxie Giles, students get to experience a harbour boat tour with guest speakers from various companies who can talk first-hand about port operations. A classroom visit from a local waterfront employee rounds out the program.
Neptune Terminals is a proud sponsor of the Working Waterfront Educational Program alongside Allied Shipbuilders, Chemtrade Logistics, ERCO Worldwide, Univar Canada, Vancouver Pile Driving and Western Stevedoring.
For more information on the program, visit https://nswia.com/
Employee Profile: Duana Kipling
There are more 370 people working at Neptune Terminals, each of whom help power the company’s operations every day.
Duana Kipling, Vice President, Operations, oversees all aspects of Neptune’s operations and is responsible for ensuring Neptune continues to be a safe, sustainable, and stable place to work.
“Neptune’s commitments to safety, the environment and our community really align with my own,” said Duana. “We take pride in creating a great place for people to work and contributing to the North Vancouver community, which is an ideal combination that enhances the culture and character of our city.”
Duana was born and raised in Melfort, Saskatchewan, a small farming community within a two-hour drive of Saskatoon. She graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and soon landed at Canadian Pacific Railway. Following a successful 13-year career at CP where she held progressively senior roles she worked with Aurizon in Queensland, Australia, where she managed a significant coal loading operation handling 20 million tonnes each year. Earlier this year, Duana relocated to North Vancouver, drawn by the upgrades and growth underway at Neptune.
Neptune is a leader in waterfront safety, a responsible steward of the environment that works hard every day to mitigate impacts on the community, and an employer that provides hundreds of good paying jobs that enable people to live and work on the North Shore and elsewhere in Greater Vancouver.
“A highlight of working at Neptune is our open door policy. We engage with our community in many ways, providing updates on the company’s activities and hosting hands-on terminal tours,” said Duana. “We are also focused on delivering value to employees and our customers—we are doing a great job with both and I look forward to continuing to build on our success.”
Three cheers for the Lynn Valley Lions
An organization dedicated to the community, the Lynn Valley Lions are focused on one important goal: helping people in need.
“Our members are proud to serve North Vancouver and support people and organizations who need an extra helping hand,” said Eric Miura, President of the Lynn Valley Lions.
The Lynn Valley Lions are instrumental in helping during and after natural disasters, and supporting youth and seniors with day-to-day living. The club also proudly operates a 64-unit family housing society in North Vancouver.
“Since our club was chartered in 1970, we have been partnering with local businesses to make our work possible and are always looking for ways to expand our reach in the community.” Partnerships like the one with Neptune Terminals help the Lions to maximize their impact. In addition to sponsoring Lynn Valley Days, Neptune has joined forces with the Lions to support their volunteers to put on BBQs at local school fundraisers, making the food that the Parent Advisory Committees sell to help raise much-needed funds for school projects.
“Our corporate partnerships help us, and ultimately enable us to help more people,” said Eric. “They’re beneficial to our corporate partners too, since they allow these businesses opportunities to give back and help make our city a great place to live and work.”
An example of the power of these partnerships is Lynn Valley Days. One of the club’s largest events, the community has celebrated this two-day festival for more than 100 years. However, with corporate support waning, the event was being scaled back significantly.
Until now that is… In 2019, with increased support from corporate partners and local businesses, the Lynn Valley Lions held one of the largest Lynn Valley Days events in recent years. The event drew record crowds and featured a parade, dance performances, community organization information booths and various festival activities, including a pancake breakfast, beer garden and live entertainment.
Said Eric, “this year’s Lynn Valley Days event is the definition of our community—one that takes care of each other and celebrates together.”
Neptune is a proud supporter of the Lynn Valley Lions.
You Ask, We Answer: Coal Dust Suppression
Q: Why does Neptune still ship coal? Isn’t it being phased out around the world?
A: The coal handled at Neptune is steelmaking coal, mined in BC and Alberta. As its name suggests, it is a critical ingredient in the production of steel, which is a highly recyclable material used in the production of many of the things we rely on each day, including cell phones, bicycles and kitchen appliances. In addition it plays a critical role in green energy production: wind turbines, solar panels, tidal power systems and bio-energy infrastructure all require steel. Canadian steelmaking coal is very high quality, and is in demand around the world.
Q: What does Neptune do to ensure coal dust doesn’t end up in the community?
A: Our priority is ensuring the materials we handle stay on our terminal, and do not cause any nuisance in our surrounding community. The best way to treat coal in order to prevent dust is with water. At Neptune, we use:
- Spray poles, strategically placed around our steelmaking coal stockpile and attached to weather stations (as well as operated manually when needed)
- Yard sprays, which are like large sprinklers and can spread water effectively even when there is no wind to help carry it across the pile
- Water cannons, operated by hand
- Water added along conveyor transfer points
- Water sprays on our two stacker reclaimers, which move coal on and off the stockpile
- A water truck to keep roadways clean
Q: How does Neptune prevent coal dust from ending up on local roads?
A: We have both a car wash and a wheel wash to ensure dust that might accumulate on vehicles or their tires does not leave our site. These are security card controlled to help us minimize water use, and are sometimes shut down in periods of water restrictions. We balance water use with the need to suppress dust and keep our products on our site where they belong.
Q: How do coal producers and railways ensure coal doesn’t impact communities through which it is being transported by train?
A: Train cars are sprayed with a polymer coating when they leave the mines, creating a crust to prevent dust from blowing off when the coal is transported. This is re-applied part way to the port and again when the railcars leave the terminal to head back to the mines to ensure any residue in the cars does not blow out. In addition, the exterior of railcars are washed down once after they are unloaded to ensure dust won’t travel back through the communities as trains leave the terminal.
Q: What should I do if I think I have coal dust on my property?
A: Monitoring by Metro Vancouver has demonstrated that air quality in the area around the North Shore of the Port of Vancouver is generally very good. That said, we live and work in a busy area that has many sources of emissions such as decomposing grain and other organics, decomposing roofing materials, industry including Neptune and other businesses, emissions from transportation such as buses, cars, trains, and ships, and even wood smoke. Past sampling has indicated that most black dust in the local area that might appear to be coal is actually a mix of these substances, carried by wind. That said, if you have a substance on your property that you think may be coal, please call us at 604-983-7935 or email email@example.com.
Q: How is air quality monitored at Neptune and in the surrounding community?
A: Air quality in the greater Vancouver area is regulated by the Metro Vancouver regional government. Neptune has air quality monitors at our terminal, and in several locations in the surrounding community. We report the results of our monitoring directly to Metro Vancouver, and our air permit can be found on their website.
Metro Vancouver also offers live air quality monitoring information. Click here for a monitor adjacent to the Iron Workers Memorial (2nd Narrows) Bridge. https://gis.metrovancouver.org/maps/Air)
Q: How has Neptune’s management of dust improved in recent years?
A: In 2018 we began making additional improvements to our steelmaking coal dust suppression system; these upgrades will be completed in 2020. The new system will optimize water coverage of the steelmaking coal and further enhance our ability to prevent dust from leaving our site, particularly during high wind events. It involves replacing the existing wooden spray poles with new steel spray poles and oscillating yard sprays in strategic locations. Yard sprays can spray in an arc without wind, whereas spray poles work most effectively in periods of high wind, which enables the mist they create to spread. This project is part of our ongoing effort to continuously improve our environmental management and minimize the impacts of our operations on the neighbouring community.