Shane Woodford | Email news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Fraser Valley Regional District is leveling some serious accusations at Metro Vancouver and the Ministry of the Environment over hazardous fly ash.
FVRD Chair Sharon Gaetz says initial tests of the ash from a Burnaby Waste to Energy incinerator tested six times higher than acceptable for hazardous waste.
She says Environment Minister Terry Lake seems to be downplaying any concerns by saying the ash only exceeds safety limits by a small degree.
“We have doubts when the Minister tells us not to worry about the ash that comes out of the stack that gives us serious doubts because we don’t know how this is measured and how the public can be confidently assured that te Ministry is looking out for their best interests when it comes to health.”
Gaetz says follow up tests then registered the fly ash as four times then two times above acceptable limits raising concerns not just with the ash itself but the measurement system in place.
“Metro is talking about incineration, how can we be assured that what is coming out of the top of the stack is adequately measured really what began as an attempt by Metro Vancouver to cover up testing irregularities has escalated into an attempt by the Ministry and Metro Vancouver to stonewall remedial action and downplay our concerns.”
Gaetz says an additional 3000 tonnes of fly ash is now also in question and being tested on top of the initial 1800 tonnes shipped from the Covanta incinerator in Burnaby to the Cache Creek landfill.
She says not only does there seem to be no plan to deal with the ash but FVRD concerns are being ignored by Metro Vancouver, the Ministry of Environment, and even Chilliwack MLA John Les.
Meanwhile Cache Creek mayor John Ranta is maintaining he wants the toxic ash removed from the landfill.
Ranta says he is waiting for Environment Minister Terry Lake to green light the excavation and relocation of the hazardous material.
He says the Cache Creek landfill is still refusing to take any more ash from the Covanta incinerator in Burnaby.