Contaminated soil being dug at a large Union Bay development won’t be leaving the area.
According to the ministry, the environmental consultant being used by Union Bay Estates at the project is preparing a plan that includes onsite containment of the excavated soils. That plan will be reviewed by the ministry as part of a remedial plan approval process.
Look at the remedial process – just move it around!
Look at all the ‘black’ soil being excavated for the deli/cafe – lots of contaminated soil in the land KIP values the most. Imagine the prices people are going to pay to live/play on contaminated soil!
Union Bay residents have been concerned about our drinking water for a long time – now we find out we can’t depend on Island Health!
Who’s protecting our watershed? Who agreed that Mosaic’s report would be for the Admin’s “eyes only”? Supposedly, the trustees haven’t even seen it. I suspect certain trustees have read it. How do we know the admin didn’t misread the report like he did with the legal counsel’s letter regarding the PWSI Agreement? This is nuts.
B.C. government not sufficiently protecting province’s drinking water, auditor general says
Auditor General says B.C. not sufficiently protecting drinking waterGlobal News– A A +
British Columbians are not adequately being informed of the ongoing risks associated with the province’s drinking water, according to B.C.’s auditor general.
Carol Bellringer released a report entitled The Protection of Drinking Water: An Independent Audit on Tuesday. It found along with not notifying the public of potential risks, the Ministry of Health and the provincial health officer (PHO) are not sufficiently protecting drinking water for all British Columbians.
“We undertook this audit because of the considerable importance of safe drinking water and because the risks to drinking water are increasing,” Bellringer said.
“Thankfully, B.C. has not had a known outbreak of water-borne illness since 2004, but just a single event that contaminates a drinking water system can cause serious health impacts for numerous people.”
According to the auditor general’s findings, the health ministry does not know which water systems are at risk and has not developed a strategy to address them. Risks of water contamination are higher in small water systems where some communities may struggle to afford sufficient water protection systems and find qualified staff to treat water.
The auditor general also acknowledged that climate change, industrial activity and a growing population all have an impact on B.C.’s drinking water. Eight recommendations have been put forward in the report, including undertaking a legislative review, identifying risks and developing a strategic plan, and reporting out to the public.
“We found that overall, the Ministry of Health and the PHO’s accountability to ensure drinking water was protected is concerning,” Bellringer said.
B.C. Chief Medical Health Officer Bonnie Henry says the fact there has not been any major waterborne outbreak in B.C. since 2004 is a tribute to the vigilance of the health authority drinking water officers and the drinking water suppliers.
“We are always working to make sure B.C.’s drinking water is safe and looking for ways to improve our processes,” Henry said.
“We will seek further direction from Government and consult with other ministries, regional health authorities, industry and health stakeholders as we work together to protect B.C.’s drinking water.”
The Ministry of Health says in response to Bellringer’s audit that it accepts that a government-wide commitment to a drinking water strategy will increase protection.
The B.C. Green Party says the findings of the report reiterate that not enough is being done to safeguard drinking water in B.C. MLA Sonia Furstenau says last month the Ministry of Environment approved a closure plan for the contaminated soil landfill above Shawnigan Lake, allowing a significant and avoidable risk to remain for the 12,000 people who rely on drinking water from this watershed.
“When it comes to watersheds, the province and governmental agencies are failing to fulfill their responsibilities,” Furstenau said.
“In an era of climate change, protecting water becomes even more important. A separate risk assessment report published last week found that B.C. is at high risk of both seasonal and long-term water shortages, with potentially catastrophic impacts.
“At the bare minimum the government must make source protection of drinking watersheds an urgent priority.”
I am thrilled to see the July 25, 2019, and Aug. 15, 2019 UBID Board meeting videos posted within 24 hours of bringing the lack of videos being posted to Chair Healey’s attention. Thank you Chair Healey for your prompt action. There is hope for Union Bay if this is any indication. Very, very happy with this. 🙂
This specific incident was brought up a number of times at the Aug. 15, 2019 UBID Board Meeting. The admin wanted to charge almost $1300. as a ‘conservative estimate’ for a copy of the 2017 KIP/UBID Potable Water Servicing and Infrastructure Agreement. The admin claimed UBID’s legal counsel advised the Agreement could not be released beyond the summary posted on UBID’s website.
The admin has remained unchallenged on this matter until it was brought up at one of the meetings where the consultants were present. We have now learned that the admin supposedly misread the letter from legal counsel. Now the story is that the board voted to remove the agreement from the website after receipt of the letter from legal counsel. I challenge that statement. If there was such a motion, it would be in the minutes. Let’s see the minutes where the board voted to remove the agreement.
It is bizarre that the admin would require even 2 minutes to locate the agreement. It is an electronic document and this blatant attempt at discouraging anyone from submitting a FOI request should not be tolerated.