The Do Not Use water advisory issued by Island Heath, on November 13, after a breach at the SIA toxic soil dump site is currently being distributed to all residents of Shawnigan Lake by the Shawnigan Residents Association. The area to which the advisory applies is the south end (south of Butler Avenue on the west side of the lake and south of Verlon Road on the east side of the lake.)
The many warnings issued by the Association to MLA Mary Polak and the Ministry of the Environment for the past three years forewarned of an event such as this.
While the breach does not appear to have come from the currently active lot, it underscores what the Association has been saying all along. The proponents and operators of the site, along with the Ministry of the Environment, have not properly assessed the risks of the operation and have exposed the residents to an unacceptable danger.
It has been foretold all along that heavy rain would endanger the site and the lake. Now in the toxic dump’s first real season, and real test, with the first “normal” rain event, a breach has occurred to force a drinking water advisory.
The Ministry of the Environment and Minister Polack have, all of this time, sided with the dump proponents. The Shawnigan Residents Association is again calling for the courts to issue a stay in the dumping permit and for the Ministry to rescind the permit.
Residents of Shawnigan Lake receiving this note should call their neighbours and notify them of this advisory.