Court orders halt to dumping of contaminated soil near Shawnigan Lake

By The Canadian Press
March 22, 2016 - 10:45am

SHAWNIGAN LAKE, B.C. — Residents around Shawnigan Lake on southern Vancouver Island are celebrating a court victory halting work at a quarry that accepts contaminated soil.

Regional Board Chairman Jon Lefebure said the B.C. Supreme Court injunction, issued Monday, upholds a Cowichan Valley Regional District zoning bylaw barring the stockpiling of contaminated soil at the landfill.

The court found the dumping of tainted soil was not an allowable use of the property, located about 32 kilometres north of Victoria.

One of the companies named in the order, South Island Resource Management, said it will immediately comply.

B.C. Green party Leader Andrew Weaver said property owner, Cobble Hill Holdings, may appeal but Weaver predicted both the owner and operator of the site would need direction from the B.C. government.

“The fact that the province went ahead and granted the permit is mind-boggling,” said Weaver.

“I suspect the proponents of the project are going to be concerned and ask questions of the province. It’s a big mess, but now the big mess is moving from the citizens having to deal with it to the province having to deal with it,” he said.

Numerous people have been arrested and protests have been underway since 2013 when the Environment Ministry approved a permit for the dumping of up to 100,000 tonnes of contaminated soil within the Shawnigan Lake watershed annually. (CFAX)

The Canadian Press

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