Chemainus odour debate gets heated in North Cowichan

Coun. Kate Marsh said she “feels sad” that the debate had come to this point.

A letter from the province in response to an ongoing odour issue in North Cowichan led to lively debate in the municipality’s council chambers on March 7.

Environment and Climate Change Minister George Heyman was responding to council’s concerns with the odours allegedly coming from Coast Environmental Ltd., a waste and compost treatment facility in Chemainus.

Heyman said in the letter that odour management and associated controls are included in a review currently underway as part of Coast Environmental’s application for the new Organic Matter Recycling Regulation permit from his ministry.

RELATED STORY: ENVIRONMENT MINISTER RESPONDS TO ODOUR CONCERNS

The facility is located in North Cowichan, but jurisdiction for its operations is shared among a number of authorities, with no clear guidelines on which authority is directly responsible to deal with excessive odours, or even what constitutes excessive odours.

While Coast Environmental’s operation is located in North Cowichan, which issues it an annual business licence to operate, the Cowichan Valley Regional District is responsible for issuing its recycler licence and the Ministry of Environment issues the permit for the facility to compost soil.

But Coun. Joyce Behnsen said she believes North Cowichan could be having more of an influence in dealing with the issue than it is exercising.

“More work can be done at this level (of government) and we shouldn’t just be handing this up to the province to deal with,” she said.

Behnsen said that North Cowichan Mayor Lefebure, who is also chairman of the CVRD, should be doing more to deal with the issue.

“The smell is making people sick and ruining the reputation of this community,” she said.

“This has been going on for six years and that’s too long.”

Lefebure said “it’s not that simple” and that “spreading misinformation” is no way to deal with the issue.

“Large improvements have already been made to deal with the odours from the facility,” he said.

Coun. Kate Marsh said she “feels sad” that the debate had come to this point.

“I can’t believe a councillor here is saying that nothing is being done,” she said.

“We have this letter from the minister and I don’t want the public thinking that North Cowichan and the CVRD are doing nothing. You can say your opinion at this table, but it has to be based on facts.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Caps drop three on road trip

Cowichan misses a chance to widen lead over Surrey

Two of Chemainus photographer Marston’s images picked among National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Wrestlers begin 2019 in fine form with Cowichan camp

The particpants ranged in age from seven to 17

Mary Lowther column: Seed catalogues and proper storage

Seeds kept dry and at 4 C can last three times as long as if they were held in household conditions.

Chemainus businesses take a direct hit during storm

Last few days before Christmas important to many to compensate for slower times

VIDEO: Cowichan Secondary starts two-week run of ‘The Addams Family’ Jan. 16

The Cow High cast is ready, the stage is set: all they need is you so make tracks to see this show

Coming up in Cowichan: Anti-pipeline meeting; women’s shelter open house

Public meeting in Duncan to support pipeline protests A public meeting has… Continue reading

Overworked and understaffed: More than 300 vacancies in Vancouver Island nursing

Tentative deal with province includes ‘working short premium’ to encourage hiring

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

RCMP’s use of force in arrest of Island man not excessive, judge rules

Campbell River man high on cocaine led high speed chase through city’s downtown

Most Read