Bark & wood waste leachate?

Photos below are of the South and West sides of a log sorting operation.  Google satellite view didn't show the current (dirt) roads, the bridge or the ditch along the south side of the log sort, so I've drawn them (approximately) into the first image.

The drainage seems to be such that run-off from the log sort goes to the ditch.  From the ditch it flows and seeps to the grassy wetland area.  From the wetland area it flows and seeps to the creek across the road.

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Click here to jump to March 21, 2014 update.

Click here to jump to April 17, 2014 update.

Click here to jump to email exchange about delays.

Click here to jump to March 23, 2015 update with a new find.

Click here to jump to July 7, 2015 update. Good news!

Click here to jump to January 18, 2016 update. Not so good news.

Click here to jump to November 2016  update. Things have changed. For the better?

 

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Larry smelled a diesel-like smell.  I didn't notice it.

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Ditch across south side of log sorting facility Water in ditch
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Looking N toward Fraser R Looking N toward Fraser R
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Along E side of road Close up along E side of road
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Close up along E side of road Looking north along east side of road
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Close up of water along E side of road Looking E, just S of ditch across log sort
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Looking E, just S of ditch across log sort On west side of road is wildlife area
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Creek along W side of road, flowing into Fraser R Creek along W side of road, looking south

 

The ditch seen in the first photo (below the satellite view screenshot http://goo.gl/maps/UxmSj) seems to be an effort to control run-off from the log operation.  Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be doing the job.  It appears that the area to the south as well as the creek to the west that runs into the Fraser River is heavily contaminated with leachate from the log operation.  Black and toxic, but not oil.

Some information regarding wood leachate impacts can be found at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfd/library/ffip/Samis_SC1999_pt2.pdf

Ian contacted BC RAPP line 1-877-952-7277 on 29 January 12:00PM.  The fellow who answered took my name and cell # and said he would brief a Ministry of Environment officer on the complaint.

Ian contacted DFO @ 1-800-465-4336 on 29 January, 12:10PM.  Fellow on phone took my name and cell # and said he would pass it on to the DFO in Chilliwack.

Environment Canada called regarding this on January 30 and visited the site.  They took samples.  They say they cannot divulge the results of their tests, but that it was negative for diesel.

APTN ran a story on February 4, speaking with Robert Jimmie and Eugene Victor.  The report erroneously stated that WaterWealth took samples and that those samples had tested positive for diesel contamination.  We have notified APTN of the error in their report.

The site is operated by Southview , based here in Chilliwack, on behalf of Probyn Log Ltd.

UPDATE: 21 March 2014

Following further reports about this location Ian visited the site on 21 March 2014 and took additional pictures below (posted 24 March).

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The ditch looking much like it did in January, but for the addition of hay bales. The area to the south looks much the same as January as well.
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Looks like these bales were placed to catch overflow. Bales are pretty clean. Doesn't seem they did much.
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Across the road bales were set in a couple of places where leachate is running down into the creek. Across the road bales were set in a couple of places where leachate is running down into the creek.
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Leachate is still getting into the creek. The creek flows a short distance into the Fraser River.
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This was at a point where the road is higher than the ditch. Looks like leachate is seeping through the ground, not just overflowing over it.

 

 

 

Environment Canada contact suggested notifying Emergency Management BC at 1-800-663-3456.  EMBC took the details (1610hrs, 24 March 2014) and said that they would pass it on to the Ministry of Environment.

 

UPDATE: 17 May 2014

Ian submitted an Access to Information Request to Environment Canada requesting;

For the period from January 15, 2014 to May 15, 2014, please provide any documents, emails and notes regarding complaints of spills or leaching at or near the log sorting facility at 7721 Cannor Rd, Chilliwack, BC., the results of any tests done, and any orders or recommendations to the company that operates the log sort.

 

October 22, 2014 received an email from Environment Canada

Subject: A-2014-00215 JB/ Access to Information Request

Good morning Mr. Stephen,

I apologize for the delay in getting back to you. We are actively working on your file however, due to an unusually high volume of requests it is taking longer than expected to complete the processing of your request. I have asked the officer who is processing your file to provide you with an update in the near future.

Thank you for your patience, please be assured that we are doing our best to process your request as quickly as possible.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best regards,
Jeff

 

December 21, 2014 Sent a reply

Hello Jeffrey

I am puzzled by the length of delay on this information request. The initial time to respond I understood to be 30 days. I received a notice of a 90 day extension, so 120 days then. It has now been 218 days and in the meantime the owner of the property in question has applied for a Crown lease to expand their operation.

Any explanation you can provide would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Ian

 

December 23, 2014 Received

Good morning Mr. Stephen,

This is further to your email correspondence of December 21, 2014, with Jeff Bonisteel, ECATIP-ECAIPRP, regarding the status of your request (A-2014-00215) for the following:   

“For the period from January 15, 2014 to May 15, 2014, please provide any documents, emails and notes regarding complaints of spills or leaching at or near the log sorting facility at 7721 Cannor Rd, Chilliwack, BC., the results of any tests done, and any orders or recommendations to the company that operates the log sort.”

I am the analyst assigned to the processing of your file/request.

I have completed my preliminary review of the documents provided in response to your request and am preparing the documents requiring third-party consultations.    

As indicated in your correspondence with Mr. Bonisteel, we have an unusually high volume of requests to process.  Again, we apologize for any inconvenience this unforeseen delay may have caused.

I will keep you posted on the processing of your file as things progress.  Should you have any questions in the interim, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Regards,
Tina

 

UPDATE: March 23, 2015 -- Day 310 of waiting for response to the Access to Information Request

We had placed a geocache in the area for World Water Day on March 22. As luck would have it the location we chose conflicted with an existing mystery cache on geogaching.com so we had to return to relocate our cache. Upon arrival a wheelbarrow was noticed some distance away beside the ditch on the south side of the log sorting facility. The sound of a pump could be heard.

 

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Investigating, found this pump taking water from the box down into the pipe Bottom pipe in, top pipe out.
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Hearing unusual water noise back at the stream that is apparently within the Bert Brink Wildlife Management Area  This pipe was found. (Grass brushed aside to show pipe)
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 And the leachate continues down the stream into the Fraser.  

Guessing that this is not the way it's supposed to be, Ian called the person we dealt with last year at Environment Canada. Got a message to call someone else. Called that person. Got a message to call someone else. Called that person and got a message saying he is in the office but away from his desk. Left a message.

Since the stream appears to be inside the Wildlife Management Area, which is provincial, Ian called the Conservation Officer Service. Got a human to take the report. The Conservation Officer Service did call back and that conversation indicated that what is there now is the solution that had been arrived at between the company and Environment Canada. There is filtration at the cement box that the pump draws from and Environment Canada has tested the outflow at the creek at different times. While the water still appears black, we are assured that it is no longer harmful to aquatic life.

Still waiting for the response from Environment Canada on the Access to Information request!

 

UPDATE: July 7, 2015 -- Day 417 of waiting for a response -- Received

Subject: Access to Information Request A-2014-00215 / Release Pkg

Good afternoon Mr. Stephen,

This is further to your request made under the Access to Information Act for the following:

“For the period from January 15, 2014 to May 15, 2014, please provide any documents, emails and notes regarding complaints of spills or leaching at or near the log sorting facility at 7721 Cannor Rd, Chilliwack, BC., the results of any tests done, and any orders or recommendations to the company that operates the log sort.”

Attached, please find a copy of the relevant records in response to your request. 

Best regards,
Tina

 

The attached package was 106 pages including notes, photos, sampling details, test results, a written direction from Environment Canada and response from the company, etc. It appears that it was left to the company to devise short and long term plans to deal with the problem. The long term mitigation plan speaks of a pump with automatic float switch dewatering into the adjacent field through a sand filter. At last visit by WaterWealth it appeared that some of this work had been carried out. We will follow up to see if it has been completed to Environment Canada's satisfaction.

 

UPDATE: January 18, 2016 -- Ditch overflowing

Visited the site and found no pump present, no further work done to implement the permanent pump/filtration solution that seemed to have been agreed upon from the material in the Access to Information package. The ditch was overflowing onto the land to the south and black water flowing over the road to the steam bordering the Wildlife Management area. Emailed Pia at Environment Canada who responded that she was looking into it, but to contact the RAPP line in future to ensure that all appropriate agencies are contacted.

 

UPDATE: November 2016 -- Things have changed

Had been to the site a few days before but without camera. The ditch across the south side of the property had been made much wider and a berm had been placed across the south and east sides of the property. It looks like this may stop runoff from the property, though how drainage is managed was not apparent. Planned to return with a camera.

Nov 4 received an email from Chris Gadsden with photos. Leachate running over the side of the ditch, over the road, into the stream and the Fraser. Chris emailed the Conservation Officer Service

Nov 22 Reply from CO advising to call the RAPP line.

Nov 23 Chris, Ian, and Chilliwack Progress journalist Jennifer Feinberg visit the site. Black water running across the road. Had a look at the pump location and found that the pipe that used to run to the stream has been dug up, broken off and is aimed into the bush to the south. Pump was not running at the time. Ian to contact RAPP.

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Enlarged ditch with berm to the left (north).
Not shown, but fence blocks access along ditch.
Leachate south of ditch.
Seeping from ditch? Ground saturated from before?
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Pump Pump discharge into grassy wooded area to south.
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Leachate flowing into stream. Leachate flowing from stream into Fraser River.

 

 

 

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