Protected the Fraser!

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.

paper_people.jpgThe 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.

"most of the dikes were found to have inadequate freeboard and are at high risk of over topping during a design flood event"

BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Fraser River Design Flood Level Update - Hope to Mission Final Report
Flood Safety Section, March 2014

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.

Respectfully submitted,

Who's signing

Matt fuller
Suzy Coulter
Sam Rytter
marvin hilbig
Paula Trudel
Alana Leduc
Taryn marble
rebecca crane
Kent Littler
Kendra Sobolik
Deb Simpson
Samantha Samson
Mary Hatch
Lisa Dee
jennifer little
Kim Larson
Marijane Welles
micki rawling
Danica Callaghan
Christine Nielsen
Nathan Loewen
Christiane Coopman
Tarras Adams
Tyler Smart
1,580 signatures

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I find it disgusting that a human brain can even conceive the thought if building such a thing.
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This is the collective responsibility of our entire province – safeguarding our most prized natural treasure, for us and future generations. “If not now, when? If not you, who?”.
signed 2015-01-15 20:58:02 -0800
For the welfare of future generation please do not put poison into our Fraser River.
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