Protected 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

Pamela Beech
Sue Richardson-Smith
ian mctavish
Vivian Morris
Sarah Weaver
Melissa Duralia
Nicky Clarke
Rossella Capobianco
Corine Hagens
Ronn Boeur
joan clarke
Steve Guidone
Roni Jones
Jim Chisholm
Rich Thorne
Greig Crockett
Kim Fulton
Anne Grube
Nadine Erickson
Al Price
Jacqui gingras
Brian Smith
Julia Marmont
Warren Bell
ella pasternak
alan pombert
Jennifer Archer
Randi Nielsen
1,545 signatures

Will you sign?

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Showing 1379 reactions

signed 2015-02-01 08:43:26 -0800
Once again the fact that this got through to approval without automatically triggering an environmental review is just insanity and why this province, indeed all of Canada is at risk of being severely compromised by its own development decisions and resource exploration. Somewhere common sense, the health of the people, wildlife and their environment has to prevail…..let it be the province of BC who takes the lead in advocacy for these basic rights.
signed 2015-02-01 08:39:07 -0800
posted about this on Facebook 2015-02-01 08:32:46 -0800
The banks of the Fraser are no place for hazardous waste! Please sign and share the petition: Protect the Fraser
signed 2015-02-01 08:32:11 -0800
signed 2015-02-01 08:02:29 -0800
Seriously? Is this really being considered in this day and age?
signed 2015-02-01 08:01:36 -0800
signed 2015-02-01 06:00:22 -0800
signed 2015-02-01 05:34:36 -0800
signed 2015-02-01 03:58:15 -0800
signed 2015-02-01 02:54:49 -0800
signed 2015-01-31 23:51:57 -0800
This is insane, knowing that that seal level WILL rise in the next few years
signed 2015-01-31 23:48:40 -0800
Clean water should have priority over all matters that even come

close to threatening them.
signed 2015-01-31 23:37:15 -0800
signed via 2015-01-31 23:20:22 -0800
posted about this on Facebook 2015-01-31 22:21:54 -0800
The banks of the Fraser are no place for hazardous waste! Please sign and share the petition: Protect the Fraser
signed 2015-01-31 22:21:22 -0800
signed 2015-01-31 22:12:29 -0800
Please, think long term.
signed 2015-01-31 22:00:23 -0800
Two hazards (toxic waste next to a flooding river) don’t make a right!! The risk calculus is all wrong. Isolate the hazards.
signed 2015-01-31 21:29:33 -0800
Rivers eventially flood. Build this well away from surface water and make sure ground water is also safe. This is insanity.
signed 2015-01-31 21:21:34 -0800
signed 2015-01-31 21:15:23 -0800
Build this facility in another location.
signed 2015-01-31 21:05:11 -0800
signed 2015-01-31 20:57:07 -0800
signed 2015-01-31 20:53:06 -0800
Location….location…location!!!! Please don’t do it there.
signed 2015-01-31 20:51:47 -0800
signed via 2015-01-31 20:28:04 -0800
We went through a similar issue in Salmon Arm (see the website, and for the first time, the provincial government was compelled to follow its own rules — the Riparian Areas Regulation (which is neither a regulation nor a law, but simply a set of guidelines that developers are supposed to follow). Nevertheless, the Ombudsperson has made it clear that the government had not followed its own rules, in a report last year called Striking a Balance (on the Ombudsperson’s website).

There has been a subsequent lengthy process of trying to obtain an accurate analysis of how to respond to a flood (our local floodplain analysis is a quarter century old!) and it’s is ongoing, as flooding in BC will be more intense because of global warming and the ongoing loss of forest cover because of the Mountain Pine Beetle).

This situation bears eerie resemblance to our situation, and is well worth fighting for!
signed 2015-01-31 19:37:32 -0800
signed 2015-01-31 18:29:07 -0800
signed 2015-01-31 16:44:13 -0800
signed 2015-01-31 16:01:05 -0800
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