Province rescinds Shawnigan contaminated soil waste permit

The provincial government announced Thursday that it is rescinding the waste discharge permit for Cobble Hill Holdings.

  • Feb. 23, 2017 11:00 a.m.

The provincial government announced Thursday that it is rescinding the waste discharge permit for Cobble Hill Holdings.

The company has been operating a controversial contaminated soil site in the Shawnigan Lake watershed that has seen the community in an uproar for years. Legal battles between the site owners and operators, the Shawnigan Residents Association and the Cowichan Valley Regional District have dragged on through courts and appeal processes.

However, Environment Minister Mary Polak issued a statement Feb. 24 saying, “Effective immediately, I am cancelling the waste discharge permit for Cobble Hill Holdings because the company has failed to meet the requirements outlined in my Jan. 27 letter.

“The company was given 15 business days to provide three required documents and submitted only two prior to the deadline given. Specifically, the company failed to provide the province with adjusted financial security in the form of an irrevocable letter of credit.

“Cobble Hill Holdings has been provided multiple opportunities to respond to outstanding non-compliances and has repeatedly missed deadlines with respect to its permit requirements,” the statement continued.

“Ministry staff are taking actions to ensure material on the property is managed in a way that does not present a risk to human health or the environment. My decision to cancel the waste discharge permit is based on information and advice from staff who are technical experts in their field,” Polack concluded.

The minister’s letter of cancellation and reasons for decision can be found at: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/site-permitting-compliance/sia