Letter: Hazardous waste issue beyond Chilliwack

Dear Editor,

A hazardous waste recycling facility is more than just a Chilliwack issue.

On behalf of our salmon, and the greater environment that we are part of, I’m concerned about plans to locate a hazardous waste recycling facility on the banks of our Fraser River in Chilliwack. As a member of the local environmental community, I am startled that such an idea is even considered feasible.

While I recognize the need for safe and responsible recycling of materials such as PCBs, mercury, transformer oils and toxic and infectious substances, to name a few, the choice of location for Aevitas’s proposed facility is inappropriate.

There are far too many unknowns and potential risks to make the placement a responsible decision.

What is known are the well documented, long term effects of mercury and PCBs, meaning the direct impact on local salmon and sturgeon populations could be detrimental – even deadly.

This is not just a Chilliwack issue. A leak or accident at the facility could impact every downstream community sharing the Fraser River.

We must ensure the Ministry of Environment examines this proposal thoroughly.

In the meantime, I humbly request that Aevitas considers alternative sites well removed from the floodplain of the Fraser River.

Lina Azeez, Watershed Watch Salmon Society

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