A quarry proposed for Sumas Mountain would be adjacent to Sumas Mounatin Inter-regional Park. FVRD image.

Proposed Sumas Mountain quarry would lead to 4,000 truck trips per year through Abbotsford

Proponent wants to begin full operation, with end date aimed for 2068

This story originally referred to an FVRD report that said the quarry would result in 4,000-plus truck round trips each year. That report had an incorrect figure. The quarry is actually expected to result in that number of trips each year.

The operator of a controversial proposed quarry wants to ramp up activity at its Sumas Mountain site and continue work for 50 years, but is likely to face significant local opposition.

Two years ago, Abbotsford Coun. Ross Siemens described the proposal, which sits just east of the city’s border and is adjacent to Sumas Mountain Inter-Regional Park, as “absolutely ridiculous.” At the time, the city and the Fraser Valley Regional District voiced their opposition to the proposal.

Nevertheless, a one-year lease for the site and a permit for exploration work was granted to a numbered company, 266531 BC Ltd., operated by David Taylor of Kamloops in 2016. Now the company has applied to extend that lease for a decade into the future while ramping up production to extract 59,000 tonnes of material from the 10-hectare site each year. And while Taylor and his company is seeking to extend his lease for another 10 years, the proposal lists the end date for work as Aug. 31, 2068, and estimates the site has two million tonnes of reserves that could be mined.

That’s caused FVRD staff to again voice its objections. And this time, the FVRD says the project needs its approval to proceed.

The FVRD says the proposal, which is located in Area G, would need a permit from it, but that zoning of the area, along with its designation in the FVRD official community plan, don’t allow gravel operations.

The region has more than enough existing supply of aggregate, and the quarry would impact the nearby park and ecosystem.

It also says consultation is needed with community groups, and local governments including the City of Abbotsford, but that it does not appear “any meaningful consultation has been undertaken.” Taylor’s proposal says his company consulted with the Sumas First Nations four years ago, at which point they were told “the mountain was, in their view, sacred land and therefore [they] were not in favour of any development on the mountain.”

The City of Abbotsford hasn’t chimed in since 2015, when it said the proposal would have a significant impact both on the local environment and its roads.

Were the quarry to begin operation, the FVRD says it would result in 4,000-plus truck round trips each year.