Muni to spend less to use landfill
By Paul Andrew
Whistler will save some $600,000 per year by using the existing landfill site on Cheakamus Lake Road, rather than shipping the solid waste out of the valley to Washington State.
This is one of the amendments to the Solid Waste Management Plan which was drafted in 1996 by the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, and which was approved Nov. 22 at the SLRD’s regular meeting.
The amendments to extend the life of the landfill came after a series of public meetings throughout the corridor, which followed an Aug. 23 Whistler council meeting where the amendments were approved. Squamish will also retain its landfill site, saving at least $700,000 per year.
In total, $11.7 million will be saved because of these amendments, which will keep both landfills open until 2008. The final piece in finalizing these amendments is approval from the Ministry of Environment.
A new Waste Management Act order has been drafted to include more conditions on the proposal to clean up "one of the worst sources of metals pollution in North America."
Copper Beach Estates, which has proposed a land reclamation/landfill at the old Britannia Mine site 15 kilometres south of Squamish, has been given conditional approval for the project that would include an effluent treatment plant on the site. Other plans will seal off the dormant mine pits by filling them with industrial soil containing low levels of metals, and ultimately stop the acid drainage at the site.
Copper Beach has agreed to fund a study on truck traffic generated on the Sea to Ski Highway by the proposed mine reclamation, and will look at barging or using railcars as a means to clean up the site.
The SLRD directors all won re-election Nov. 20. The region between Squamish and Lillooet is parcelled off into areas A through D. Area A, which includes the vast region around Goldbridge, was retained for a second term by Russ Oakley as the director. Area B, which includes Lillooet, had Sheila McLean win the director’s seat by acclamation. McLean has been an elected official with the SLRD since 1990. Area C, which includes Pemberton and Whistler, was retained by Susie Gimse, who also chairs the board. Area D, which includes Squamish and the area north to Whistler’s municipal boundaries, part of Garibaldi Park and extends along the Squamish River and the southern half of the Elaho River, was retained by director Pam Tattersfield.
For electoral area C, Judy Bourhis retained her seat as school trustee. School trustee Don Ross will continue in Area D.
In other SLRD developments, a new zoning bylaw is in the works for Areas A and B, a new official community plan is proposed for Area C and a major review of the Area D official community plan is under review.
David Andrews, who applied for re-zoning in Area C to build a run-of-river independent power project, said he’s satisfied with the progress of his application, although the Miller Creek Power Project will not go to public meeting until after the new year. The project has received first and second reading.
"There’s not a great deal happening right now," Andrews said Wednesday. "So we’re just tidying up some legal agreements about the cash contributions to the community (of Pemberton). I don’t think we’re on the Dec. 16 agenda at the SLRD, so we’ll have to go to a public meeting in mid-January, then we’ll go to third reading."
The MCPP would generate enough electricity to power 10,000 homes. The power would be exported to the U.S. or Alberta, and act as a back-up facility for the village of Pemberton. It will use the existing BC Hydro power lines to route the power out of the Pemberton Valley.
The private power facility, which is considerably smaller than most conventional hydro generating power plants, has been called the wave of the future by some experts in the field.
"Our potential investors are holding up fine," Andrews added. "I just hope people can see that because of global warming, people will look more to these kinds of projects."