Biosolids blockade ends, waste won’t be dumped at Shuswap bison ranch

Biosolids blockade ends, waste won’t be dumped at Shuswap bison ranch

City of Kamloops confirms treated sewage not being transported to Turtle Valley

  • Jan. 6, 2020 1:20 p.m.

Kamloops This Week

A roadblock to prevent the arrival of biosolids east of Kamloops has ended and the city’s treated sewage sludge will not be dumped in Turtle Valley.

Protest organizer and Turtle Valley resident Connie Seaward said protesters packed up in mid-November and deem the situation a win for area residents.

“End result, it’s not dumped on our drinking water and that’s all we wanted,” Seaward told KTW.

Turtle Valley residents were protesting a City of Kamloops contract with Arrow Transportation to haul and dump the city’s stockpile of treated sewage sludge to the Turtle Valley Bison Ranch.

Concerned about impacts to drinking water, due to the location’s proximity to an aquifer upon which drinking water is drawn, the protesters took Arrow to court, filing an injunction to halt transportation. Protesters lost in court, but it appears they ultimately won the battle. Seaward said local First Nations stepped in to oppose the project and the Neskonlith Indian Band recently informed her the landowner deems it “done now, completely.”

Read more: First Nations groups obstruct biosolids truck access to ranch in Turtle Valley

Read more: Turtle Valley Bison Ranch owners speak on biosolids controversy

Read more: First Nations group takes up biosolids protest

City of Kamloops utility services manager Greg Wightman said that, at this stage, biosolids are not being transported to Turtle Valley. He called biosolids management an “incredibly complicated process” and said the city is working closely with Arrow to find other locations for the product, though nothing has been identified to date.

Seaward said the city and Arrow followed the rules — but argued the rules need to change.

The protesters continue to await changes to the province’s Organic Matter Recycling Regulation.

Meanwhile, they wonder where the city will next plan to transport its biosolids.

“We did have a few people that were wondering, where is it going?” she said. “Is it going to go in our backyard somewhere else? I don’t have the time or energy to chase it around. If the contract comes up again in our area, we just make sure it’s a safe area to be put.”

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