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No more dirty soil, CVRD tells minister

Nov 25 2012

The contract has yet to be tendered for work at the Esquimalt Graving Dock, but the Cowichan Valley Regional District is already telling the federal government it doesn't want the site's contaminated dirt.

"The CVRD board is strongly opposed to the relocation of any further contaminated soil to land within domestic water supply watersheds within the Cowichan Valley," wrote CVRD chairman Rob Hutchins in a letter to Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose.

The CVRD board is calling for the province to put the brakes on a convoy of dump trucks leaving Victoria with contaminated dirt destined for the Cowichan Valley.

B.C. Environment Minister Terry Lake has stated his intention to find a solution, but in the meantime, his ministry is approving requests to transfer contaminated dirt over the Malahat.

Construction at CFB Esquimalt has been generating a parade of trucks taking soil to the Cowichan Valley. Now a new $44-million contract, yet to be awarded, could see 150,000 cubic metres of contaminated materials dredged from the sea near the graving dock and trucked up-Island.

"The Cowichan Valley has found itself increasingly becoming a dumping ground for soils emanating from southern Vancouver Island," wrote Hutchins in his letter to Ambrose.

"Our citizens are growing tired and frustrated with the thousands of truckloads per year of contaminated and other soils coming over the Malahat to be dumped in the Cowichan Valley."

A copy of the letter was sent to Rear Admiral Bill Truelove at CFB Esquimalt.

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