Port Moody may ask Port Metro for contaminant info related to Shawnigan dump site

Port Moody council could be wading in to the ongoing fracas between Shawnigan Lake residents and South Island Resource Management (SIRM), a quarry and contaminated soil dump site, by way of Port Metro Vancouver.

Pacific Coast Terminals has been using the Vancouver Island site to dump approximately 80,000 tonnes of contaminated soil as it expands its Port Moody facility to handle potash. The soil comes from the area where the potash shed will be built and contains elevated levels of sulphur, zinc and salt, though PCT vice president and general manager Wade Leslie said they are not considered toxic levels.

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Shawnigan Lake residents have been trying for nearly four years to have the site shut down, saying it is contaminating a watershed that serves nearly 20,000 people, and have raised concerns that the PCT soil could be adding to that contamination.

Sonia Furstenau, the elected Area Director for Shawnigan Lake, spoke to PoMo council earlier this month and was followed by representatives of SIRM, who were grilled by council members for nearly an hour even though council has no jurisdiction to deal with their concerns.

At Tuesday's meeting, Coun. Zoe Royer made a notice of motion that would require Port Metro Vancouver and its tenant, PCT, to provide environmental and engineering reports, test results and other information regarding the contaminated material on its property and surrounding area. It also asks that, if there is no information about contamination, that Port Metro and PCT be asked to do further investigation to "determine the full extent of existing contamination in the vicinity of its property and the potential for future contamination arising from its activities."


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