Harrison considers regulating soil deposits for first time

Harrison considers regulating soil deposits for first time

The soil deposit bylaw has been referred back to staff for more information on invasive species

Harrison Hot Springs is taking its first steps towards a ban on the dumping of “dirty dirt” in the village.

At council Monday (Nov. 4), planning consultant Ken Cossey brought forward a new Soil Removal and Deposit bylaw, that would regulate how developers and residents could deal with soil and fill materials on property within Harrison Hot Springs.

Currently, the only regulatory framework for dumping in Harrison comes from the ALC, which is only concerned with agricultural land.

“The village has no regulatory mechanisms in place to prevent an individual or company from dumping, I love this term, dirty dirt on a construction site and leaving it there,” Cossey said. “We had an example of this when I first started working here for the village, and fortunately the power of persuasion from your chief administrative officer was able to get those piles removed.”

RELATED: FVRD residents still throwing stones at gravel mining plan

The village developed the bylaw as a way to help manage soil deposits from development activities — which can see the stockpiling or removal of soil and other construction material on properties — as well as help protect Harrison’s riparian areas from soil-laden run-off.

“Through this bylaw, you can put erosion controls in place,” Cossey explained.

The bylaw also focuses on reducing impacts from contaminated fill, by prohibiting the deposition of what Cossey called “dirty dirt.”

“This can cause some financial hardships for a landowner if they decided that they’re going to take some of this free fill, and they find out it’s contaminated fill,” he said.

SEE ALSO: Government allows contaminated soil to remain at B.C.’s Shawnigan Lake

In an attempt to help regulate the movement of soil and other fill, the bylaw would require anyone moving more than 10 cubic metres of soil — about one dump truck’s worth — to obtain a $200 permit from the village. Permits would expire after two years, and applicants would need to reapply for another one.

This permit would also require a $4,000 security deposit, to allow the village to repair any damage Harrison property within 30 days of the final inspection from the village. The village would also need to be named on the company’s insurance policy, so the village can access their insurance program as well.

The goal, according to CAO Madeline McDonald, isn’t to restrict local homeowners wanting to bring in soil for their gardens or to create hardships for construction businesses that are following best practices.

“Certainly, we’re not intending to require a QEP report for every load of gravel, nor a permit for every load of gravel,” she said. “It would be more the case if somebody was taking clean fill from an unlicensed pit or wanted to relocate a whole bunch of soil from one construction project to another. Those might raise our alarm bells.”

During council’s discussion of the bylaw, councillor Samantha Piper asked if there could be more clarity on including invasive species in the definition of contaminated fill.

“I think as local government, we can have an active role in safe soil,” she said. “I think if we’re going to take an active role and create a bylaw, I think that should also be included.”

Council voted to send the bylaw back to staff for more clarification on invasive species and their role in the bylaw, as well as to make sure that permits can cover multiple types of fill for an entire project. Council will vote on first, second and third reading when it comes back to the table.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

The Abbotsford International Airshow is back for 2021 with the ‘SkyDrive’ concept.
Abbotsford International Airshow returns for 2021 with ‘SkyDrive’

New format features a drive-in movie type experience, show set for Aug. 6 to 8

A young couple walks through the Othello Tunnels just outside of Hope. (Jessica Peters/Black Press)
Hope’s Othello Tunnels fully open to the public

Geological testing proved the area safe enough to open for the first time in more than a year

70 per cent of people aged 12 and older in Agassiz-Harrison have been vaccinated

More than 80 per cent of adults aged 50 and older have been vaccinated, as of June 10

Raeya Evie Duncan was the 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital for the month of May. She is seen here with her parents Alysha Williams and Andrew Duncan on June 12, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Baby boom in Chilliwack as record number of infants born at CGH in May

‘COVID babies are coming out,’ says dad of 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital last month

Agassiz Agricultural Hall hosts COVID-19 vaccination clinics every Wednesday. District officials reported more than 300 doses are administered per week. (Adam Louis/Observer)
Walk-in COVID vaccine clinic scheduled for Wednesday

Walk-in appointments available while supplies last from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

Most Read