BC Greens long advocated for Ministry to have increased powers under Environmental Management Act

February 19, 2020

VICTORIA, B.C. – Sonia Furstenau, MLA for the Cowichan Valley and Deputy Leader of the B.C. Green Party responded to the introduction of Bill 3, the Environmental Management Amendment Act, 2020.

“The B.C. Greens have long advocated for changes to the Environmental Management Act to address the gaps in legislation that don’t adequately protect communities from potential impacts from the movement of contaminated soil throughout the province. It is essential that there is accurate information about soil being moved and any risks it may pose to communities,” said MLA Sonia Furstenau for Cowichan Valley. 

Furstenau has been involved for several years in the effort to protect the Shawnigan watershed, which supplies water to 12,000 people. In 2013, the provincial government granted a permit to Cobble Hill Holdings Ltd. for a contaminated landfill site in Shawnigan. The permit was revoked in 2017.

“This bill is one step towards bringing more accountability and transparency around the movement of soil in B.C., but there is much work to be done to ensure a situation like what happened in Shawnigan never happens again. An additional step would be to consider the history of operators when making decisions to determine the sites for the deposit of contaminated soil, akin to the fit and proper clause used in other acts.”

“In an era when droughts are more common, and our water resources need more protection, government must have the ability to ensure water security for all of our communities. The B.C. Greens welcome the introduction of Bill 3 and look forward to the debate and review in policy to analyze how it will benefit communities across the province.”

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