Questions raised about proposed contaminated soil landfill

A decision from FVRD is expected by vote in February, following a meeting in December with much opposition from public

  • Jan. 7, 2016 3:00 p.m.
A map indicating the area (top left) where the proposed landfill site could be located.

A map indicating the area (top left) where the proposed landfill site could be located.

By Tyler Olsen

Black Press

The Fraser Valley Regional District board is expected to vote in February on whether to give the go-ahead to a proposed landfill for contaminated soil in the Chehalis River Valley.

Statlu Resources has proposed to extract gravel from a site 10 kilometres up the Chehalis Forest Service Road and back-fill it with remediated soil sourced from contaminated sites like gas stations, car repair shops and dry cleaners.

Around 80 people attended a public meeting in December, with most voicing opposition to the proposal, which would be located about half-a-kilometre from the Chehalis River.

Statlu’s proposal calls for between 350 to 1,000 tonnes of soil to be dumped at the site each work day. In a technical assessment commissioned by the company and delivered prior to the meeting, a consulting firm reported that the soil could contain “residual petroleum hydrocarbons, chlorinated hydrocarbons, and heavy metals.”

But Statlu president Earl Wilder said the material is “not a hazardous waste,” and presently dumped elsewhere in the Lower Mainland with less care than his plan envisions.

Statlu’s technical assessment envisions a double-bottom lined fill site, with a wastewater purification system to treat effluent.

“Due to the distance between the effluent discharge point and the Chehalis River and that the minimum daily flow in Chehalis River is more than 1,000,000 times of the effluent flow, we consider it to be a low potential that the discharge of treated water will have a significant impact on the Chehalis River,” the technical report states.

Wilder said the chances of a spill were one-in-four-hundred million, more ten times less likely than a lottery win. Having trucks transporting materially both to and from the site aims to improve the economic feasibility of the site. He said the project would create jobs and other economic benefits for the region.

Downstream, though, there is concern about the proposal. A local resident expressed concern that problems at any soil landfill up the valley would impact the river and the drinking water of those down river.

“I can see the creek from my house and it feeds the water supply for the whole subdivision down here,” he said. “It’s something of a concern to everybody down here.”

In its November report, FVRD staff also expressed some concern with the plan, which follows several others from Statlu, including a now-abandoned proposal that would have seen automobile residue disposed of at the site.

Planner David Bennett wrote that the remoteness of the site would reduce conflicts with residents, although truck traffic would still be seen. But he also wrote “the Chehalis River Valley is viewed as a wilderness area that supports resource extraction, tourism, recreation and ecological functions. A landfill is not consistent with this view.”

Area C director Alec Niemi said he hasn’t taken a position on the proposal to allow others to make up their minds independently. He noted, though, that the company has “a pretty good sales job on their hands” to convince local residents to back the project.

“They’re coming into a watershed, they’re coming into a rainforest.”

Wilder, though, said opposition to the plan is based on misinformation.

“The fuss is way out of control because of a lack of knowledge,” he said. “It’s the best site in the whole Lower Mainland that’s ever been discovered.”

The FVRD’s electoral area services committee will receive a report next week. Subsequent reports are expected in February prior to a vote on the necessary rezoning for the project.

 

Just Posted

(Adam Louis/Observer)
PHOTOS: Students leap into action in track events at Kent Elementary

At Kent Elementary, when the sun’s outside, the fun’s outside. The intermediate… Continue reading

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

One person was transported to hospital with minor injuries following a two-vehicle crash on Hot Springs Road June 10. (Adam Louis/Observer)
One hurt following two-vehicle crash on Hot Springs Road

Agassiz Fire Department, B.C. Ambulance Service attended with RCMP

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

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

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read