April 14, 2013
Contact: Craig Spence
250-208-3825

Dumping contaminated soil in watersheds simply unacceptable

Media Advisory
Green Party of BC
April 11, 2013

Green Party of BC leader, Jane Sterk, is speaking out against the approval of a permit that will allow South Island Aggregates (SIA) to dump 100,000 tons of contaminated soil per year in the headwaters of the Shawingan Lake watershed on Vancouver Island.

“Dumping contaminated soil in watersheds is simply unacceptable,” says Jane Sterk, leader of the Green Party of BC. “We can not let this go unaddressed by the provincial government, and will lead the call to rescind the approval of the SIA permit when the new government is formed.”

Despite fierce opposition from local residents, and serious questions from environmental consultants and local officials about the safety of SIA’s proposal, the Ministry of Environment has forged ahead and provided draft approval for the permit just weeks before the provincial election. With the writ dropping on April 16, it is clear that this issue will be left to the next government to clean up.

Cowichan Valley Green candidate, Kerry Davis, was in Victoria this week participating in a rally at the Ministry of Environment and a meeting of the Capital Regional District and Cowichan Valley Regional District directors. “Clean, fresh water is one of most precious resources, and we must stand together to protect it,” says Davis.

“The Cowichan Valley has a history of elected representatives that refuse to fight for decisions that will ensure the safety of our water supply,” he says. “The Evans site remains a threat to a large drinking water aquifer near the Koksilah River, and there are another dozen unapproved dumping sites in the Shawnigan Lake area that need to be addressed.

“Groundwater is under threat all over British Columbia, not just in Shawnigan Lake or Glenora from contaminated fill, but also in Kamloops and Buckley Bay from mining applications and in the northeast from fracking,” he adds. “As a Green MLA, I will stand up for the integrity of our water supply and the health of our communities by working to change the environmental assessment process so it takes into account the financial, social and environmental costs of every project.”

As candidates on opposite ends of the Malahat, Sterk and Davis agree on the need for a broader regional strategy on waste management.

“Living within our limits means taking full responsibility for our waste,” says Sterk. “We are working in a closed system and need to be working across jurisdictions to deal with environmental and resource issues so we can protect the rights and needs of future generations.”

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For more information contact:

Craig Spence
Green Party of BC Media Relations
250-208-3825 / craig.spence@greenparty.bc.ca

Kerry Davis
Green Party of BC Candidate
Cowichan Valley
250-858-2728 / Kerry.Davis@greenparty.bc.ca

 

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