The CSRD’s Revelstoke landfill is once again threatened with fines up to $300,000 for excessive litter and having a septic system.
In June 2019, an environmental protection officer, Blake Ross identified several areas of concern including groundwater management and excessive litter. Though the CSRD said they had addressed the issues, an inspection one year later, identified several of the same problems and the province issued a warning letter in December.
In response to one of the reports, the CSRD closed their septic receiving facility, as its authorization expired in 2011.
However, Ben Van Nostrad, team leader of environmental health services for the CSRD, said they are disputing the “warning” status issued by the ministry.
Though the facility had been operating without permission since 2011, no previous environmental inspection officers had ever raised concerns, Van Nostrad said.
Changes to minimize the impact on ground water for the 2019 Design, Operation and Closure plan for the landfill, has yet to be approved.
The plan proposes eight monitoring wells to assess the landfill impacts on the groundwater in the area, five wells that will also monitor the impact of the septic waste disposal on site and eight surface water sample locations.
In their response to the warning letter from the ministry, the CSRD disputed the second warning status as well.
The letter requested more information on what necessary changes should be made in addressing the allegations of public nuisance or threat to public health accusations, which were not confirmed by the officer, as well as further direction on litter management.
As the CSRD is waiting for ministry approval on updates to the operational certificate that would make their water monitoring system compliant, Van Nostrand, requested they not be penalized by the current situation.
He finished the letter by requesting further direction in order to ensure similar issues are prevented in the future and “welcomed a follow up inspection.”