New dump in wrong location
The fundamental flaw of the Forceman Ridge Landfill is that it is in the wrong place. For whatever reason in the early 1990s, without public involvement, it was decided that the site of the landfill would be on the hill, east of Onion Lake and then began the process to demonstrate that this was a suitable site.
Starting in 1997, three wells were dug indicating that the site was sitting on a great depth of porous sand and gravel. After preliminary study it was concluded that no leachate would be going into the Lakelse Lake system (instead it went to the Kitimat River) and in 2002 an application for land and permitting was made.
By the end of 2006 a dozen wells were in place and these showed leachate flows headed toward upper Clearwater Lake. The opposite of what had been thought. This triggered a further two wells to be installed and by the end of 2009 the flow to Clearwater was confirmed. None of this information was shared with Fisheries, Environment Canada, BC Parks or the public. However the permit for the landfill was issued in 2008. None of this information was shared with the public.
Now that approaching a million dollars have been spent on this proposal we’re being told that treated leachate to the tune of quarter of a million liters per day will be dumped at the site but not to worry, it will meet aquatic standards.
No amount of expert mitigation (technology, knowledge and wisdom continue to unfold) can guarantee that this site will not fail sometime in the next 100 years and beyond.
This stuff lasts forever contaminating the Clearwater Lakes system, the protected ecological wetlands at the South end of Lakelse Lake, the Lakelse Lake itself and then downstream to the Skeena by way of the Lakelse River, a rare class 1 fishing area.
Sure the regional district has done its best to make a bad decision better.
But the reality is – it is a bad decision and a bad idea.