Governments should yank stench emitter’s permits

All levels of government badly fumbled the ball

Governments should yank stench emitter’s permits

Dear mayor, chair, councillors and CVRD directors:

A continual stench wafting from Coast Environmental in Chemainus’s industrial park has plagued Mural Town residents and visitors for years.

North Cowichan council and the CVRD board have been unable or unwilling to solve the terrible stink apparently caused by a legal human-septage transfer station at Coast.

Now council and the CVRD are asking the provincial environment ministry to solve the problem by, I assume, pulling Coast’s soil-composting licence.

Despite protests and pecking-order politics, taxpaying residents and business owners, plus tourists, tolerate the heinous stench basically year-round. All levels of government badly fumbled the ball here by failing to consider and prevent odour pollution in Coast’s zoning and other permits.

That’s similar to how North Cowichan council failed to realize noise pollution from Sahtlam’s Vancouver Island Motorsport track would disrupt nearby residents.

Coast should be ordered by all three levels of government to find and install odour-control technology now, instead of waiting for new provincial odour rules.

Chemainus residents and visitors would be left breathing that awful stench as talks and potential studies drag on.

Sure, Coast could rightly sue our governments for yanking its permits, but surely the daily health of residents is more important. This foul case should certainly be a lesson for governments everywhere to consider all forms of pollution before green-lighting businesses and projects.

Peter W. Rusland


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