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Chilliwack chapter to protest proposed hazardous waste site on World Water Day

The Council of Canadians Chilliwack chapter is set to protest against the proposed Aevitas Inc. hazardous waste recycling site, which would be situated less than 200 metres from the Fraser River. That means the facility would be located on the floodplain of the largest river system in British Columbia.

Each month, the facility would handle 350,000 litres of transformer oil, 5,000 litres of oil with PCBs, 50 tons of transformers containing PCBs, and 500,000 lamps (CFL bulbs) containing mercury. The Vancouver Observer highlights, “One study of the Fraser predicts that [with climate change] what was a one-in-100 year flood cycle in the 20th century will become a one-in-four-year flood cycle by the end of the 21st century.”

The Chilliwack Progress reports, “A rally to celebrate World Water Day in Chilliwack next Sunday is at the proposed Aevitas waste recycling site. The Fraser River Rally and Nature Walk is set for March 22 at 1 p.m. on Cannor Road, organized by the recently formed Chilliwack Chapter of the Council of Canadians, and Water Wealth.”

The Sto:lo First Nation has demanded consultation on the proposed project and a wide coalition has formed to fight against the proposed location of the facility. In early February, the Globe and Mail reported, “So far, more than 20 groups representing 120,000 people have joined the coalition, which is urging Chilliwack city council not to rezone the industrial site that Aevitas has selected for its next plant. …[Opponents say] if Chilliwack council won’t stop the plant, the protesters will continue their fight at the provincial level.”

On that front, the Progress recently reported, “The provincial government has requested more information from the company to determine if the project will ‘require an Environmental Assessment’… ‘Due to stakeholder interest, Ministry staff have also put in place a requirement for Aevitas to conduct additional consultation’, confirmed a media relations rep for Ministry of Environment, in an email. ‘A comprehensive technical review of the file will not commence until after the above information is provided by the company.'”

The Chilliwack Times has noted, “The Ministry of Environment still has to give final approval for the facility.”

The Chilliwack chapter was formed on February 19.