Directors want a say in soil dumping practices
Area directors in the Cowichan Valley are hopeful that recent attention given to a rather dirty subject will result in amended provincial legislation, giving local governments more input in soil dumping practices.
Most recently, area directors have questions on one company’s application to dispose of contaminated soil in a quarry off Stebbings Rd. in South Shawnigan.
Cobble Hill Area Director Gerry Giles believes the application reflects an ongoing battle.
“This one application by South Island Aggregate has just brought attention to a problem that the CVRD has been trying to deal with for over 12 years now, and it began when contaminated soil from Shoal Pt. was brought up and dumped on the top of the Malahat.”
Giles said the CVRD has tested the dirt piles at the top of the Malahat and found the soil is contaminated.
In recent weeks, the CVRD has been meeting with Environment Ministry representatives, including Minister Terry Lake who committed to spot-checking loads of fill in trucks coming over the Malahat en route to sites in South Cowichan.
Giles also questioned a Ministry representative Alan McCammon at a meeting May 23, on getting the CVRD more of a say in issuing licenses.
“We want them to ensure that number 1, that local government is consulted in a manner that gives local government an actual say in what’s transpiring,” she expressed. “When a license is applied for to the province and granted by the province, we’re given anywhere from 12 to four days' notice, but nothing more. The trucks are then rolling.”
CVRD directors want B.C. provincial legislation amended to give local governments more input before licenses are issued.
The public is invited to an open house May 31at the Shawnigan Lake Community Centre to discuss South Island Aggregate's application.
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