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Ministry of Environment Press Release

Aug. 21, 2013

Ministry of Environment

Permit approved for South Island Aggregates

VICTORIA - The Ministry of Environment has issued a permit for South Island Aggregates (SIA) to establish a soil remediation facility in the Cowichan Valley.

The permit application was approved by the statutory decision-maker, and the decision is kept independent from the political process. The decision-maker looked at the proposed project, including associated environmental concerns, and concluded that the proposal adheres to legislation and appropriately manages health and environmental concerns.

The ministry had a legal obligation to consider both the application and the concerns raised during the public consultation process. The final decision was based on the technical merits of the proposal. The full technical assessment can be found at:

The ministry received approximately 300 submissions in response to the draft permit issued in March and took the time necessary to review and respond to each submission.

In response to concerns raised during the public consultation period, the permit has been amended to include a number of additional measures.

These measures include:

  • Treating discharge water to provincial drinking water standards.
  • Additional water sampling.
  • Creation of an inter-agency advisory committee to review data and provide advice on monitoring, sampling and reporting activities.
  • Implementation of an Environmental Management System to document onsite activities.
  • Public posting of monitoring information and reports.

The ministry worked with the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) and SIA to ensure concerns around air and water quality were satisfied.

Additionally, SIA must prepare and submit various documents and plans within a period of six months before receiving material at the site. These documents include a Soil Acceptance Plan, an Environmental Procedures Manual, an Emergency Response Plan and a Closure Plan. All of these documents are legally binding and will be submitted to the ministry for final review.

An appeal process administered by the Environmental Appeal Board is available to those who object to the decision.

Media Relations
Ministry of Environment
250 953-3834

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