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

Julia Marmont
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ella pasternak
alan pombert
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Corinne Friday
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the green x
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Cecia Poders
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1,580 signatures

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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 www.wa-ter.ca), 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
signed via 2015-01-31 13:09:48 -0800
What is it going to take for the political parties to wake up and realize that decisions such as this one is downright stupid and incompetent. We should be able to fire them for their incompetency.
signed 2015-01-31 11:07:46 -0800
signed 2015-01-31 10:13:52 -0800
signed 2015-01-31 09:59:19 -0800
Preservation is important. Please find another location that won’t hurt the animals’ lives.
signed 2015-01-31 08:04:13 -0800
signed 2015-01-30 18:54:16 -0800
This is why we lose faith in the government. How can they be so tunnel visioned in their decision making???? Were they sleeping through political science classes and environmental issues? Hmm..yup.


I have no faith or hope for future generations when we have stupid decisions like this happening.


Dumb Dumb Dumb!!!!!
signed 2015-01-30 15:49:44 -0800
signed 2015-01-30 14:57:44 -0800
signed 2015-01-30 14:44:39 -0800
signed 2015-01-30 14:10:45 -0800
Rivers are dynamic and change course over time. Just look at the regional park at Island 22 and how the campsites disappeared over five years from river erosion. Rivers are always moving and carrying objects that wear away the banks, eventually creating curves and even islands. Building on the banks of a river shows ignorance of how geography works. Recycling inland at least helps control the spread of toxins if a leak occurs. Streams, lakes and rivers are all interconnected. Take too much water out and there’s sink holes. At Chernobyl people eat contaminated animals because they have to eat. I don’t want to eat contaminated salmon, so GET THIS PLANT AWAY FROM WATERWAYS!!!!
posted about this on Facebook 2015-01-30 08:59:38 -0800
The banks of the Fraser are no place for hazardous waste! Please sign and share the petition: Protect the Fraser
signed via 2015-01-30 08:59:19 -0800
signed via 2015-01-29 17:58:59 -0800
signed via 2015-01-29 17:27:39 -0800
signed 2015-01-29 15:46:30 -0800
signed 2015-01-29 13:18:24 -0800
signed via 2015-01-29 11:57:10 -0800
signed 2015-01-29 11:01:42 -0800
signed via 2015-01-29 10:15:40 -0800
signed 2015-01-29 09:36:30 -0800
signed 2015-01-29 09:29:09 -0800
signed via 2015-01-29 09:26:54 -0800
posted about this on Facebook 2015-01-29 08:42:54 -0800
The banks of the Fraser are no place for hazardous waste! Please sign and share the petition: Protect the Fraser
signed 2015-01-29 08:42:26 -0800
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