Upland Contracting Ltd.'s landfill, now operational, is across Highway 28 from McIvor Lake, which is Campbell River's source of drinking water. Photo courtesy of CREC.
CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. – A local environmental group still hopes to stop the landfill across Highway 28 from McIvor Lake.
The MyCampbellRiverNow.com newsroom previously reported that Upland Contracting Ltd. was granted a draft Operational Certificate, which meant they could start operations soon.
Leona Adams, president of the Campbell River Environmental Committee (CREC), said that landfill is now operational. Currently, they’re only allowed 3, 200 cubic metres a year of construction and demolition waste.
According to Adams, Upland Contracting Ltd. hopes to increase the landfill limit to 25, 000 cubic metres a year. She said Upland also hopes to get approval to dump contaminated soil at the landfill.
Adams said she met with staff from the Ministry of Environment to give a presentation on the risks associated with having a landfill close to the town’s drinking water source. She said CREC’s hydrogeologist found errors in a study done by Upland, and they wanted to show them to the ministry.
“That close to our drinking water, we don’t want to risk that the liners will work and the operation will work and everything will always be okay. Because once it’s not, once it (the waste) hits our drinking water, I don’t see how mitigation can happen,” Adams said.
“I don’t know how the ministry is going to decide. They look at everything, all the studies from the hydrogeologists… they’ll go back to the company possibly and ask for corrections for any errors or studies of any unknowns, before they make any decisions.”
Terry Stuart, spokesperson for Upland Contracting, said nothing in their report has changed or proves they will do harm to Campbell River’s drinking water source.
“There’s still no chance for water to flow uphill against thousands of gallons of water coming down the hill from McIvor Lake,” Stuart said.
“I continue to stress modern landfills’ modern design with the environment as priority one. Our design exceeds anything being done in the province. We’ve actually gone beyond what’s required. We also continue to invite the public to become informed with what’s really going on, and by reading the information that is out there.”
Stuart added that he encourages members of the public to come up to the site to see for themselves that the landfill will have no effect on McIvor Lake.
CREC also launched a petition addressed to Minister George Heyman, calling for tighter landfill restrictions.
“It’s not just for Campbell River, it’s not just our local scope. It’s for all of B.C. Because these landfills over porous aquifers just like this… and people’s fresh water is going to be at risk.”