Tuesday, August 4, 2015

City to make application regarding Watson Island effluent and air emissions

The City of Prince Rupert
will soon be disposing of waste related
to the demolition of elements of
the Watson Island site
Progress on the demolition of the Watson Island site would seem to be at hand, with the City taking steps to advise the public of some of the environmental impact of their work on the industrial site near Port Edward.

The City of Prince Rupert is set to make an application to the Ministry of the Environment to seek the authorization of the discharge of air emissions, effluent and refuse from the Watson Island site, with the release to come from a landfill operation on the old pulp mill site.

The material to be discharged will include a range of items that will be collected through work to take place on the site such as demolition debris, small amounts of asbestos, effluent treatment sludge and wood burning debris with air emissions.

As part of the application process, the City has provided notice to any person or persons who may be adversely affected by the proposed discharge, advising of the thirty day period to send their written comments to both the City and the Ministry of the Environment Offices in Smithers.

The address for those that wish to submit their concern is:

Regional Manager, Environmental Protection at Ministry of Environment
Environmental Protection Division - Authorizations North
Bag 5000, 3726 Alfred Avenue
Smithers BC  V0J 2N0

Those that do submit their comments to the Ministry will be made part of the public record, as will their submissions.

Learning of the environmental notice however would seem to make for a bit of work for a resident of the North Coast.

Notice of Environmental
Discharge for Watson Island 
At this point, there has been no mention made of the application to the Ministry through the City's website, nor has the Mayor made use of his Facebook portal, a popular method he has used for information delivery to share word of the environmental process ahead.

According to the official notice which was dated July 23rd and found in the back pages of the weekly newspaper for July 29th, the deadline for submissions related to the City's application will be thirty days from notification point.

On the theme of Watson Island, there has not been an update on the planned demolition work, or the ongoing legal situation surrounding the industrial site since Mayor Lee Brain offered up a short review of the plans to the CBC radio program Daybreak North back in May.

At that time there was a hint from the Mayor that an announcement on a number of Watson Island related issues was close at hand, but since that  interview with the CBC, the status of latest developments from the industrial site haven't been included in the recent stream of information from City Hall, most of it delivered through the Mayor's Facebook page.

In his May commentary on the status of Watson Island, Mayor Brain noted that there is still some legal work to be done regarding the Watson Island file.

Work which we will surely see added on to the ongoing cost of the city's quest to be relieved of the Watson Island saga.

As we learned in late June with the release of financial information for 2014, that legal work is still taking a hefty bite out of the city's financial picture, with the city's legal representatives having received almost 700,000 dollars from the City in 2014.

Heading into what appears some increased work on the industrial site, it may be time for another update to the public, in order to let the city's residents know where we are on one of the longer running stories of the North Coast.

Or as the Mayor observed to Ms. de Ryk back in May, whether Watson Island "has gone any further down a hole that it's been going down"

For more items related to Watson Island see our archive page here.

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