Saturday, April 11, 2015

Reader Warns Of Environmental Concerns

Mayor and council; 

I was informed last night about the letter that was received from DSS demanding that council proceed with one of the two options contained in the letter. This is simply not acceptable. As a council, I urge you to immediately appeal this decision. I would imagine that there will be a number of speakers at the meeting slated for Monday night who will outline the many reasons for an appeal. I would like to remind you all that in my presentation about a month ago, I spoke of the toxic metals and chemicals that were identified in the report. Both these options will expose these metals and the possibility of leaching into ground waters and the Chase River itself. This project cannot be allowed to proceed until such time as a full environmental impact study has been completed to assess the damage the potential leaching may cause. To proceed without this study being done could possibly be far more damaging than any flooding that may arise. Council must also consider the costs involved for removal and replacement of these toxic soils. As a former contractor who has dealt with these type of matters in the past, I realize the tremendous costs involved. We have no way of telling how much of the soil will need to be removed at this point as no quantities surveys were completed by Golder. I have suggested that a three million dollar figure might be a starting point but that could grow by four or five times should a large portion of the soil be needed for removal, replacement and trucking to the landfill in Cumberland.

There has been an immediate public reaction to the release of the details of this letter. Council must stand up for the citizens of Nanaimo and appeal this order. At the same time, council must ask why staff have ignored the instructions given by council, ignored duly passed motions and acted outside of the terms of their employment and the roles that define their positions as set out in the city charter. Council must take charge and you must do it now. Non action on your part will inevitably result in an extreme response from the public which nobody wants to see.


Kevin Storrie
Nanaimo, B.C.


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