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Councillor questions proposed soil remediation plant

A proposed soil remediation facility near McIvor Lake has the attention of at least one city councillor.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, Coun. Larry Samson voiced his concerns surrounding an 18,100 square foot facility planned by Upland Excavating to remediate contaminated soil.

Specifically, Samson wanted to know if the project would pose a risk to the city’s drinking water.

“We’ve heard that there’s a concern of a connection between McIvor Lake, which is part of our watershed, and the aquifer that lies below the Upland pit,” Samson said.

“I’m wondering if during this environmental consideration, if that is one of the things that will be looked at and when can we expect this to go back to council?”

Samson was referring to comprehensive environmental considerations that the city will require from the developers if the project gets to the development permit stage.

Amber Zirnhelt, the city’s acting general manager of operations, said before it gets to that stage the application first has to be vetted by the province which is in the process of reviewing a waste discharge permit.

As part of that process, a technical environmental report has been submitted and city staff have provided comment to the province.

“This matter rests with the province,” Zirnhelt said. “They will be looking at health concerns, environmental concerns and all other issues concerning the waste discharge permit and then if it is approved, it will come back.

City staff will look at it further if a development permit is submitted for environmental and form and character.”

The facility proposed for 7311 Gold River Hwy. meets the requirements detailed by the Ministry of Environment protocol, according to a technical report by consultants Terrawest Environmental.

That report states that Upland plans to capture any runoff at the lowest point by using a sump pump.

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