The Shawnigan Residents Association is hosting a rally on April 20 to call for the removal of more than 100,000 tonnes of contaminated soil from a closed dumping site near Shawnigan Lake. (File photo)

Shawnigan residents rallying to demand contaminated soil removal

“Rally for Removal” will be held April 20

The Shawnigan Residents Association wants the more than 100,000 tonnes of contaminated soil that has been dumped near Shawnigan Lake in recent years removed.

The SRA will be hosting a “Rally for Removal” event on April 20 beginning at 7:30 a.m. at the intersection of Stebbings Road and Shawnigan Lake Road, near where Cobble Hill Holdings’ contaminated soil-dumping site was located before its operating permit was revoked last year.

Alex Acton, a board member with the SRA, said the intent of the rally is to press Environment Minister George Heyman to remove the soil to a more suitable location rather than encapsulate it where it is.

He said South Shawnigan Creek and another tributary of Shawnigan Lake run right through the site and the water is being contaminated with the dumped soil, compromising the region’s drinking water.

“Leaving the soil where it is is not acceptable to the SRA,” Acton said.

“The company owners may end up being responsible for its removal in the end, but it’s ultimately up to the minister to make that decision. We just want it dealt with properly.”

After years of lawsuits and demonstrations over the controversial contaminated soil landfill near Shawnigan Lake, the axe finally fell on the operation in February, 2017, when its operating permit was pulled by the province.

Former Liberal Environment Minister Mary Polak decided to cancel the permit, ostensibly because the owners had failed to provide the province with required documents by a deadline set out by the government.

The permit had allowed the owners of Cobble Hill Holdings and South Island Aggregates to receive and store up to 100,000 tonnes of contaminated soil a year at the site.

Acton said the SLA is calling on the government to do “the right thing” and remove the soil from the site.

“We also want Premier John Horgan to step up and help out as well,” he said.

“Horgan was front and centre a number of times during our fight to have the soil site shut down saying that it was not an appropriate site for the operation. Now we’re looking for him to act on his comments made at the time.”

As for the early time for the rally on April 20, Acton said that time was chosen so that the rally will be visible to commuters on their way to work that day.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Bayview Place pullout a magnet for trouble, Maple Bay neighbours say

North Cowichan council forwards concerns to police

Getting along and information flow essentials for Area G director candidate

Jonas feels working productively together makes a better community

Affordable housing, fiscal responsiblity important to Duncan city council hopeful Carol Newington

I recognize the importance of keeping Duncan Green, Clean and Safe!

Safety, water concerns raised over rural North Cowichan road

Resident raises issues about Khenipsen Road

It’s ‘students first’ for Barb de Groot as she looks for re-election to school board

I retired from Quamichan in 2005 and was elected to the school board for the first time that fall.

Live bear cam: Let the fishing begin

Watch bears in Alaska’s Katmai National Park catch their dinner live.

Cowichan Coffee Time: 4H, a marathon and fundraising

• A group of 4H-ers had a woolly good time at the… Continue reading

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

Ottawa had said the ‘overwhelming majority’ had been removed

Appeal pipeline decision but consult Indigenous communities, Scheer says

The federal appeals court halted the Trans Mountain expansion last month

B.C. electric vehicle subsidy fund drains faster than expected

Province adds another $10 million to incentive fund

‘I’ll never forgive you:’ Victim impact statements at hearing for Calgary killer

Curtis Healy was found guilty of first-degree murder Friday in the death of Dawns Baptiste.

Most Read