By Peter Rusland - Cowichan News Leader Pictorial
Published: November 04, 2013 10:00 AM
Appeal proceedings by Shawnigan Lakers and regional directors, against permitted dirty-dirty treatment, won't happen in secret.
Shawnigan Residents Association (SRA) is cheering after the Environmental Appeal Board rejected a request by South Island Aggregates (aka Cobble Hill Holdings) that its information, submitted to the EAB hearings, be confidential, and not released publicly.
"CHH had argued it would be 'inappropriate for the material filed herewith to make its way onto those websites,'" last Monday's release by SRA's Jason Walker says of SRA and Cowichan Valley Regional District sites.
The SRA and CVRD are appealing SIA's permit to treat five million tonnes of fuel-fouled soil in its Stebbings Road pit.
Both parties have also applied to the EAB for a soil-dumping stay while their permit-appeal proceeds.
EAB chairman Alan Andison responded "...the appeal process is public in nature."
"Hearings are open to the public, and information provided to the board by one party must also be provided to all other parties to the appeal," he says.
"Moreover, once a document is filed with the board, it is a prima facie disclosable to the public."
"Everything about this is a public matter," SRA director Calvin Cook states.
"It's our water source that is at stake, and any attempt to silence the SRA, or any other body or person, through the appeal board process is completely and wholeheartedly unacceptable."
Shawniganians and CVRD directors say they are committed to stopping SIA from running a contaminated-soil landfill in the Shawnigan Lake watershed, potentially risking the environment and drinking water.
The CVRD also seeks a Supreme Court ruling on whether SIA's provincial permit is valid if SIA lacks proper CVRD zoning for treating dirty-dirt.