I believe the application should be rejected for the following reasons.
-The plan is very brief and completely ignores the negative aspects.
-The plan contains inaccurate information and makes statements that cannot be verified by the public due to omission of attachments or references.
-The plan’s waste facility location has unacceptable risks and numerous negative impacts to the public.
There are residential areas in close proximity to the proposed facility. Brenner Road and Cunliffe Road are within sight, hearing and smelling distance from the proposed facility. The statement that the new location minimises residential impacts is grossly inaccurate as the proposed location actually moves facilities closer to residential areas compared to distances from the existing facility to residential areas.
Placing a waste facility in a flood zone, immediately adjacent to a world class tourist and fishing river such as the Elk River seems illogical and reckless to the point of gross negligence.
The statement that numerous studies have been prepared in relation to flood potential seems dubious. No information is given as to what degree of flooding will occur in and around the facility. No studies are presented to the public to allow verification.
Waste management is never a pure and clean exercise as suggested by the application management plan. Spillage and surface run-off is an inherent and ongoing occurrence. Spillages large or small can occur anywhere on such a facility. Even if facility is not handling liquids, liquids are always present, leach from waste, or generated from weather to waste interactions. Think of the surface drainage on the gravelled areas that cover the majority of the site. These surfaces will drain directly in to the immediately adjacent Elk River.
The management plan statement that it will have no deleterious impacts on fish or wildlife is not supported by any impact studies. Further to the above detailed risks to the Elk River there are wildlife areas adjacent and downstream to the proposed facility. These areas are known beaver habitats, plus habitat to numerous other bird and animal species that rely on the Elk River for survival. To briefly state there are no fish and wildlife impacts appears to be inaccurate and misleads the public.
The site will be developed by cut and fill to minimize impact seems dubious. The site is very flat and low. Cut means digging close or in to the water table to fill adjacent areas.
The statement that minimal trees will be cut seems inaccurate and misleading. A quick look at the site shows the facility is in the middle of a treed area.
The facility location across from Brenner/Highway 3 intersection is not an improvement in safety. An expanded intersection with increased turn out/in volume is being added at the end of a long straight highway stretch where frequent speeding is a normal occurrence, particularly on ‘weekend rushes’. It is grossly inaccurate for the management plan to present this as “providing better safety to the travelling public.”
Fernie is a resort town where aesthetics are to be preserved. To greet westward travellers into Fernie with a waste facility immediately adjacent to the highway and within a stone’s throw of the beautiful Elk River is not what we should be presenting.
There are surely safer, more out of the way locations available for a new waste facility. These must be explored as the proposed location is an ill-conceived, environmentally risky and unsafe choice.