The Environmental Appeal Board completed four weeks of hearings on Shawnigan's controversial contaminated soil dump on April 4. The three member board, chaired by Alan Andison, heard over twenty expert witnesses on many aspects of the contaminated soil permit. The witnesses were questioned by lawyers representing the Shawnigan Residents Association (Sean Hern and Robert Anderson QC of Farris LLP), the CVRD, the BC Ministry of Environment, and South Island Aggregates, as well as Shawnigan residents John and Lois Hayes as well as Rick Sanders.
Most of the expert evidence provided by hydrogeologists, engineers and other professionals appeared to be damning for the permit. Of interest was that a visit to the SIA site by all parties, including the Appeal Board members, showed that SIA did not have the required water treatment system in place, and the settling pond was situated too close to the property boundary.
Due to the complexity of this case, several more days of hearings have been scheduled in Victoria at 747 Fort Street, 9am to 4pm, April 16, 17 and 23, and June 4 - 6. The Shawnigan Residents Association has raised over $150,000 for legal fees so far. More funds will be needed to carry on the fight. The SRA believes in clean, safe, drinkable, swimmable and liveable water. Please show your support!