UPDATE: May 6 2015. AEVITAS WILL NOT PROCEED WITH THE HAZARDOUS WASTE FACILITY THAT HAD BEEN PROPOSED ON THE BANKS OF THE FRASER!
Below is original text of this page. Here to tell some of the story. But today, May 6, Aevitas announced that they will not proceed.
In the face of opposition from residents, First Nations, recreational groups, businesses, ... pretty much everyone, the City of Chilliwack has gone ahead and approved an Aevitas hazardous waste facility, that will handle mercury, PCBs and other heavy metals and toxic materials, on the banks of the Fraser River.
The Fraser is the world's #1 salmon river. Recreational fisheries alone in the Lower Fraser are worth some $100-million per year. The Fraser is at the heart of the culture of the Stó:lō, the Indigenous people of the region who share the original name of the river itself. The Lower Fraser is home to endangered white sturgeon, a fish virtually unchanged over 175 million years and provincially red-listed with the second highest 'at-risk' rating BC has to offer, also a fish particularly vulnerable to toxin bioaccumulation.
Risks from this facility, if built, include emissions from normal operations, accidents on the site, accidents transporting materials to and from the site, and flooding from the river.
A provincial report projects that by the end of the century under a moderate flood risk scenario "the 50-year return period event will have a magnitude similar to the 1948 flood". The same report states that a failure of the earthen Lajoie Dam and subsequent failure of the Terzaghi Dam below it would result in a flood "significantly larger than the estimated 10,000 year return period event". It would be only hours before those flood waters reached the hazardous waste site. In this seismically active province this is a risk that cannot be discounted. One need only consider the failure of the earthen Mount Polley dam, which needed no earthquake to trigger it.
When word of the hazardous waste proposal reached the public, the Protect the Fraser Coalition quickly formed and continues to grow, now comprising over 30 diverse groups. The Coalition's message has been consistent from day 1:
"We are not opposed to this facility. We are opposed to the location."
Now the decision is squarely in the hands of the Ministry of Environment. Astonishingly, this hazardous waste facility does not automatically trigger an environmental assessment! But the Minister of Environment, Mary Polak, can choose to have an environmental assessment done.
Sign this petition to tell the Minister of Environment that the Aevitas hazardous waste facility should not be built near the banks of the Fraser River and that she must order a comprehensive environmental assessment that takes into account future flooding risks posed by climate change, earthquakes and dam failures.
We the undersigned ask the Minister of Environment to review the proposed Aevitas hazardous waste facility in Chilliwack, BC and order a comprehensive environmental assessment of the proposed development. The review must include looking at the risks posed to the health of the watershed and fish populations in the case of future floods, earthquake and potential failures of the Lajoie and Terzaghi Dams.
Facility’s such as this should not be anywhere close to waterways.
I would like to think that my children and my grandchildren and so on will have these resources to enjoy for many generations to come.
So please look to the future and the potential devastation this facility could cause being situated in this location.
Please do not build at your current proposed location !!