By Barbara Roden
Members of a group trying to raise awareness about the danger presented by the trucking and dumping of biosolids held a fourth public rally in Clinton on Feb. 27.
Chris Jenaway, a member of the group, says between 60 and 70 people attended the rally, held beside the Petro-Canada station on Highway 97.
“We were there with handouts and information, and a petition people could sign to stop the dumping of biosolids,” Jenaway says of the peaceful gathering.
The intention is to educate the public about the facts surrounding biosolids, treated sewage sludge that is intended for agricultural use, he adds.
The Clinton group has been supported by The Friends of the Nicola Valley, which has been protesting biosolids being dumped in the vicinity of Merritt.
The gatherings were spurred by an incident on Feb. 4, when a truck carrying Class B biosolids to a biosolids site at the OK Ranch near Big Bar went off the road and overturned. Between 12 and 14 cubic metres of biosolids, as well as hydraulic fluid, engine oil, and coolant from the truck, were released into Riley’s Dam and Big Bar Creek.
Despite clean-up efforts, between two and five cubic metres of the spilled biosolids remain unaccounted for, and cannot be recovered now.
Members of the group are “grossly unsatisfied” with the clean-up efforts, Jenaway says, adding they are frustrated by what they see as “lackadaisical” responses from various levels of government.
They note area residents have not been formally told about the spill into Big Bar Creek, which runs through many properties.
Response from passers-by and Clinton residents has been “amazing,” Jenaway says, with many people stopping to ask questions and sign the petition.
The group also has hundreds of online members, he adds.
Barbara Roden is the editor of the Ashcroft Journal.