Dumping can continue, appeal court rules

The trucking of contaminated soil to Shawnigan Lake has been given the green light to continue, at least until later this summer.

The trucking of contaminated soil to Shawnigan Lake has been given the green light to continue, at least until later this summer.

The BC Court of Appeal made that determination on May 13 when it tossed out an appeal by the Cowichan Valley Regional District, which was asking for work to stop at the controversial contaminated soil dump.

The court, presided over by a three-judge panel, also turned down the regional district’s request that if soil continued to be imported to the site, the owners should be required to post a security of $12 million to cover the costs of removing it.

The court’s decision means that the importation of soil to the site can continue until the court hears an appeal in August from South Island Aggregates and Cobble Hill Holdings, the owners of the landfill.

The owners are appealing a ruling made by the BC Supreme Court in March that a contaminated soil treatment facility and landfill are not permitted uses of the property, located on Stebbings Road.

The supreme court ordered at the time that no further soil could be imported to the site until the company’s appeal of that decision is heard in August.

But that ruling was set aside last month by the BC Court of Appeal’s Justice Pamela Kirpatrick, who decided to allow the importation of soil to continue until the appeal is heard.

That decision led to the appeal by the CVRD that was turned down on May 13.

Jon Lefebure, chairman of the CVRD, said the loss of the appeal is “unfortunate.”

He said the regional district was hoping for some assurance that if more soil was allowed to be imported to the site until August, there would eventually be funds available to remove it.

“But the BC Supreme Court has ruled that this operation does not fit the CVRD’s bylaws, and that ruling still stands,” Lefebure said.

“The appeal to that ruling will be heard in August and, while I’m not a lawyer, I expect that our next focus will be ensuring that the ruling will be upheld.”

Aurora Faulkner-Killam is a lawyer from the Victoria-based law firm Cox, Taylor that is representing the landfill’s owners.

She said the panel of judges recognized that Justice Kirkpatrick’s decision was not in error and balanced the “serious financial hardship” imposed on the owners by the immediate interruption of their business, with the CVRD’s desire to enforce its zoning bylaws.

“Kirkpatrick also expressly recognized in her decision the public interest and public need for a south Shawnigan solution to the problem of illegal dumping of contaminated soil, and accepted that the Ministry of Environment and the Environmental Appeal Board view this mine as part of the solution,” Faulkner-Killam said in a statement.

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

North Cowichan’s committee of the whole have rejected staff’s recommendation to limit the use of fireworks to Halloween. (File photo)
North Cowichan rejects limiting fireworks to Halloween

Municipality decides staff recommendation would be unpopular

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

CVRD Area E director Alison Nicholson, right, hiked two hours to Waterfall Camp at the Fairy Creek watershed along with Comox town councillor Nicole Minion and Comox Valley Regional District director Daniel Arbour to meet with old-growth logging activists on Monday, June 7. (Submitted)
Cowichan Valley regional director visits Fairy Creek protest camps

‘They clearly communicated that they are committed to what they are doing’

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

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

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

Most Read