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The gloves are coming off in the battle over building a waste to energy incinerator between the Fraser Valley Regional District and Metro Vancouver.
As a controversy swirls over tonnes of toxic ash pumped out by a Burnaby incinerator that was shipped to Cache Creek for months with no warning FVRD Chair Sharon Gaetz seems to be saying enough is enough.
Gaetz says Metro Vancouver must abandon its efforts to build an even bigger incinerator to deal with the region’s garbage.
"We understand that Metro has applied to the P-3 Canada fund to assist in financing the construction of a new incinerator and we will be talking to the federal government about this. We are concerned that if there are not the kind of measures in place to prevent this from happening when the public sector is involved that we don't think our tax dollars should be going towards that."
Gaetz says you don’t need to look farther than what is going on at the Covanta run incinerator in Burnaby to realize they pose serious environmental concerns.
She says the ash byproduct of burning garbage in an incinerator has enough heavy metals, phosphoric acid, and lime to be considered hazardous waste.
The independent MLA for Abbotsford South is also weighing into the debate.
John van Dongen says it is time for the board of Metro Vancouver to “come to their senses” and listen to the concerns of those in the Fraser Valley when it comes to garbage incineration.
When it comes to the airshed in the valley van Dongen says he is very concerned, as are others, over the impacts to air quality if Metro Vancouver forges ahead with a garbage incinerator.
He says it is time for Metro to sit down and actually consult with the Fraser Valley Regional District as they are mandated to do.
"I continue to have very serious concerns about Metro Vancouver's approach to this issue they have been told very clearly in a letter from the Minister of Environment a number of months ago that they need to fully consult with the Fraser Valley Regional District and we continue to hear indications that they are not doing that."
Van Dongen says Metro is also ignoring the huge capitol costs and the dependance on large volumes of waste needed to make any incinerator dealing with the region’s garbage to be viable.
He says cadmium, which was found in tonnes of ash pumped out by the Covanta incinerator in Burnaby, is a big concern as a he notes the US Environmental Protection Agency considers cadmium a health risk.
An investigation was launched last week after CKNW broke the story of roughly 2000 tonnes of toxic ash shipped from a Burnaby incinerator to the Cache Creek landfill.
The company running the incinerator have denied the ash is toxic but in emails obtained by CKNW show the company running the landfill, Wastech, say testing has confirmed some of the ash is hazardous.