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Media Releases

Environmental Appeal Board Hearings Extended

8 June 2014 
By: Shawnigan Residents Association (SRA) 

Shawnigan Lake, BC: As a result of additional witness testimony and a large volume of documentary and expert evidence, the legal proceedings before the BC Environmental Appeal Board have been extended and will conclude on July 25, 2014. The evidentiary portion of the hearing concluded on June 6 and the parties will now draft and file written submissions and then present oral argument on July 24 and 25.

The Shawnigan Residents Association, along with the Cowichan Valley Regional District, John Hayes and Rick Sanders, initiated proceedings against South Island Aggregates (SIA) also know as Cobble Hill Holdings (CHH). SIA has been granted a permit by the BC Ministry of Environment to dump five million tonnes of contaminated soil in a pit that flows downstream into the Shawnigan Basin.

In support of the SRA's Legal Action Fund, the community has raised over $200,000 for the legal battle to stop the South Island Aggregates (SIA) contaminated soil dump. As the hearing dates are extended the costs continue to rise and we are now looking at costs that will exceed $250,000.

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BACKGROUND

The SRA is engaged in legal proceedings which are before the BC Environmental Appeal Board against South Island Aggregates (SIA) aka Cobble Hill Holdings (CHH) who have been granted a permit by the BC Ministry of the Environment to dump 5 million tonnes of Contaminated Soil on a slope above Shawnigan Lake. The soils will include dioxins, furans, heavy metals, BTEX, MTBE, VPHs, LEPHs/HEPHs, PAHs, Chlorinated Hydrocarbons, Phenolic Substances, Chloride, Sodium and Glycol to name a few of the contaminates. Over 12,000 residents rely on Shawnigan Lake as their source of drinking water. The SRA believes any level of risk associated with the dumping of these types of chemicals is unacceptable because of the irreversible effects. Sean Hern and Robert Anderson QC of Farris LLP are representing the SRA.

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