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Operations should immediately cease at Shawnigan soil treatment site

Media Statement December 1, 2015
Operations should immediately cease at Shawnigan soil treatment site – Andrew Weaver MLA
For Immediate Release

Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay Gordon Head and Deputy Leader of the BC Green Party is calling on Island Health and the Ministry of Environment to immediately shut down operations at the contaminated soil processing facility near Shawnigan Lake, in response to a CVRD report released today.

“The release of the engineering report raises very serious concerns regarding the safety of the ongoing operations.” said Andrew Weaver. “There has been a profound and pervasive dereliction of duty within the Ministries of Environment and Energy and Mines. The citizens of the region have collectively lost confidence in the ability of the BC Liberals to look out for their safety.”

The report, commissioned by the Cowichan Valley Regional District, identifies serious concerns about surface runoff and throughflow potentially becoming contaminated but not adequately being contained or treated. In particular, it concluded that “runoff storm water sourced from the SIA site is bypassing the sediment pond (i.e. by flowing under it) and is being discharged directly onto the land owned by the CVRD.” This occurred despite the fact the BC Government mandates that all surface water is required to be “contained on the property and treated in accordance with the permit”.

The report cites a lack of clarity regarding provisions related to the infiltration of surface water and suggests that “stormwater from a facility that handles contaminated soil should be managed in a way that allows for contaminant sampling and controlled discharge.”

“How the BC Liberals issued an operating permit in light of the very serious findings of the CVRD report is beyond me.” said Andrew Weaver. “The permit should be immediately rescinded, operations ceased, and a full independent investigation initiated.”

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Engineering report commissioned by CVRD (Linked here)

Media Contact

Mat Wright
Press Secretary – Andrew Weaver MLA
Cell: 250 216 3382
Mat.wright@leg.bc.ca
Twitter: @MatVic

Parliament Buildings
Room 027C
Victoria BC V8V 1X4

3 Comments

  1. Matthew-
    December 1, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    Thank you for standing up for Shawnigan Lake and the community of people who live there. It is heartening to know that at least SOMEONE in government sees these problems.

  2. Shemama-
    December 1, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    I can smell low tide on top of our mountain!
    The water is running around the pit tailings ponds

  3. Mike-
    December 1, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    I stand beside the empty treatment ponds watching water gushing out from under the toxic pit completely bypassing the failed containment system, and flowing downhill into Shawnigan Creek…And wonder how can MoE allow this to continue?