Typical, from an American company – can’t spell centre correctly.
Development has shrunk – website has shrunk – contributions/promises shrunk. The last incarnation: https://allthingsunionbay.com/2016/04/05/anyone-else-notice-the-letter-from-jim-youngren-partner-of-34083-yukon-inc/
Under ‘what’s the next step’:
Once the terms of the MDA have been met, Kensington will submit an application to the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, as the primary regulatory body.
So what’s holding him up?
A draft plan for the remediation of the contaminated Union Bay coal hills should be submitted to the province this June, and the information could be public by the fall, according to a representative from West Fraser Mills.
Although most of the information contained in the agreement between West Fraser and the provincial government over the coal hills’ clean-up is still confidential, representatives from the two bodies presented an update on the issue at the Comox Valley Regional District’s April 24 board meeting.
Duncan Williams, the executive director of crown land opportunities for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, (FLNRORD) said his department will review West Fraser’s draft plan when it is submitted later this spring. If happy with it, he said they will send the plan to the Ministry of Environment — the regulator — for further scrutiny.
“It’s not until [Ministry of Environment] signs off on it and improves on it that we’ll know what the final design is,” he said.
West Fraser leases a portion of the Union Bay coal hills from the Crown. Pending the regulator’s approval, the forestry company plans to supply an engineered membrane that will cover the entire contaminated site. The membrane will include a layer of soil on top of it, about a metre or two deep.
The engineered cover is hoped to impede water access to the coal pile, reducing acid rock drainage and the release of metals to the environment.
Now that the provincial government owns the land, it will be responsible for monitoring and maintaining the coal hills following its remediation.
“Over time, our experience with remediated sites is that they self-remediate,” said Williams. “That’s part of the monitoring [we’ll do] to make sure it’s in effect. We’re going to monitor the foreshore as well to make sure it’s working. If it’s not working, we’ll [install] a water treatment plant.”
“Our long-term goal is to keep it vacant crown land,” added Williams. “Make sure there are no trees on it, and minimal use from the public on it. We don’t want motorbikes riding over the top of it.”
According to West Fraser environmental affairs manager Cindy MacDonald, the forestry company is currently in the design phase. She said capping the contaminated area is the standard practice for remediating contaminated sites such as the one in Union Bay.
“You couldn’t move that pile because you’d open it up and potentially have a significant environmental problem once you open it up to the water and the air,” she said.
MacDonald and Williams said the likely plan is to apply a membrane similar to the one used at Yanks Peak in the Kootenays — an engineered cap with a lifespan between 50 and 100 years.
MacDonald said the forestry company is paying for the design and installation of the cover and said remediation could take two or three years to be completed.
“Depending on when we get approval to go ahead with the remediation plan, it will probably be the following year,” she said.
After the membrane is installed, West Fraser will surrender its portion of the coal hills to the province.
Remediation years in the making:
The B.C. government has recognized the Union Bay coal hills as a “priority contaminated site” since 2012. Negotiations over the need for its remediation have gone on for over a decade.
Much of the coal hills was previously owned by development company Kensington Union Bay Properties. The developer sold the land to the province last year for $1, to the surprise of some Union Bay landowners.
The Union Bay coal hills were originally used by Canadian Collieries (Dunsmuir) Ltd. as a washing and load-out facility for coal coming from the Cumberland mines. The hills’ contamination is due to residue from the industrial operations undertaken there.
People have short memories. UBID, KIP and the Ministry are all touting the progress of the water filtration facility for Union Bay. Since all the landowners are paying for the facility, why did it take so long? The boards up until April 2011 put off any decisions because they believed KIP would be providing the much needed water treatment facility at no cost to the landowners.
Weeks before that board was turfed in April 2011, they signed the 2011 Water Infrastructure with KIP announcing a $1.7 Million dollar gift to the community. KIP asked for an extension in Oct. 2014 with the deadline of Dec. 2014 for the agreement to expire. Up until that point, KIP never provided any of the stipulations in the agreement regarding plans/reports/etc., only an informal request for an extension.
In 2015, David Godfrey, Peter Jacques and others circulated a petition demanding the then board grant an extension to the expired agreement. David Godfrey was one of the negotiators of the 2011 WIA and finally admitted the $1.7 Million dollars was in fact not a gift, it was an interest free loan. The petition had a signature for landowners stating they did not support paying for a water treatment system.
So what is there to celebrate? This board didn’t even get us an interest free loan. We’re footing the bill thanks to the very people who took a petition around because they didn’t want to pay for the facility. What did they get in their negotiations? The fire hall land wasn’t any accomplishment – it’s in the MDA.
KIP promised millions and our board negotiated 4 acres – YAY!
Salesman Slick really played Union Bay landowners and has the board to prove it.
Anyone remember this bullshit from KIP’s last website? https://allthingsunionbay.com/2016/04/05/anyone-else-notice-the-letter-from-jim-youngren-partner-of-34083-yukon-inc/
I’m surprised at all the talk about KIP developing the waterfront and creek front in the first phase and no mention of the toxic site literally feet from the swanky development. Anyone walking the coal hills knows the contaminated soil does not suddenly stop at the shoreline – it’s been spread out over an extremely large area surrounding the contaminated site by the tides and storms – a dead zone.
Took the following pic in 2013. Is there any difference in the soil on the coal hills and the soil across the creek on the shoreline?
This is from the last time KIP tried to get approval for a marina.
Aquaculture is dependent on water that is free from contamination. Oysters cannot move from where they are placed, so the tailings of the Tsable River mine and leaching from all the years of industry in the Union Bay Harbour which are soon to be released through the dredging, will not only bring contaminates but also destroy the plankton on which the oysters feed. Oysters must be handled delicately. Their bed must be undisturbed, their water warmer and less saline than the open sea, and their food, the minute plankton, cannot be disturbed by heavy machinery or any indiscriminate use of the shoreline.