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Highlands council asks for second body to look at contaminated soil coming to landfill
Resident concerns over trucking contaminated soil into Highlands sparked council to seek a second look.
Highlands council is asking the federal government to provide an independent, professional third-party assessment of the landfill’s design and monitoring systems since 150,000 cubic metres of contaminated sediment started making its way to the landfill June 17.
The soil is part of the Esquimalt Graving Dock waterlot remediation project. It will be disposed of in the Highwest Landfill on Millstream Road, operated by Tervita Corporation.
“Waste will be transported to the Highwest landfill in trucks that have sealed end gates, so material will not leave the truck. As another level of assurance, additional vehicles will occasionally follow the loads to ensure nothing is leaving the truck. The drivers of the trucks have extensive experience with waste transportation and will act with the safety of the community and the environment top of mind,” said Stacie Dley, Tervita Communications Advisor.
A reduction in truck traffic is expected to begin in January 2014.
Highlands is a community dependent on groundwater and council wants reassurance that groundwater and other environmental and health issues will be addressed.
The soil being deposited in Highlands, is considered contaminated, but not hazardous.
“Soil that would be unacceptable for disposal on Vancouver Island would be soil that is classified as hazardous waste as defined by the British Columbia Hazardous Waste Regulation (HWR). No hazardous waste has been identified in the sediments being remediated,” said Sébastien Bois, media relations for Public Works and Government Services.
The remediation project is expected to be wrapped up by March 2014.
Tervita earned the bid through an open procurement process.