Comment on the proposed hazardous waste recycling facility
Info for Hazardous Waste Public Consultation:
Thanks to expressed public concern and pressure the Ministry of Environment has requested the proponent of a proposed hazardous waste recycling facility, Aevitas Inc., to conduct public consultations. For the Protect the Fraser Coalition we are hosting a Public Comment Form which you can use to officially ask questions, state concerns and provide suggestions to both the Ministry of Environment and Aevitas Inc.
Over 50 organizations make up the Coalition with a membership of over 200,000 people across the continent. Every single voice is important in letting the Province and Aevitas know what the people are concerned about.
While recycling, and therefore diverting from landfills, hazardous materials is important, we want to ensure that it happens away from sensitive, iconic ecosystems such as the Fraser River. It is interesting to note that not a single facility built by Aevitas is built by a waterway of such significant cultural, economic and environmental importance.
The facility is to be placed on the banks of the world’s number 1 salmon river
- In the event of a spill, fire, earthquake or flooding there would be significant repercussions to the riparian zone and spawning habitat in the adjacent Bert Brink Wildlife Management Area and further downstream impacting no only salmon but 30 species including orcas.
- Industrializing the Heart of the Fraser.
- It’s an issue of cumulative impacts. Encouraging industrialization in a region of the Fraser not otherwise heavily industrialized promotes a vastly different form of economy moving from a recreational use of the river to an industrial economy. If one facility like this is built it opens the doors to similar development as the land has moved from being zoned Agricultural to Industrial. This means, recreating in the Heart of the Fraser will eventually afford one a view of an industrial complex.
- Only economic benefits considered
Reasons given for placing this facility on the banks of the Fraser River are primarily economic such as access to the highway and a disregard for proximity to this major river
- Earthquake zone
- This facility would lie within the High risk earthquake zone. The company has stated in a recent news article that if there were an earthquake, “this building would be the only one standing.” These are dangerous words and we strongly support the Ministry using the precautionary principle when considering such projects
- Floodplain, dike upgrades
- The company has stated “it’s difficult to get away from water anywhere you look” however, in our view, they could not have picked a worse site; one that is so close to the most productive stretch of the world’s greatest salmon river
- Dikes do not meet the updated 2007 Dike guidelines for the region
- Downstream safety
- Populations of humans and animals living downstream (Metro Vancouver) are at risk if such facilities are built along this River
- So many unknowns including insurance and clean up protocols
Clearly, there is a need for a more precautionary approach and a safer location for this facility is required.