Contaminated soil could cost Vanderhoof more

Removal of the Kwik Save tanks update for Vanderhoof brownfield.

The old Kwik Save site excavation has revealed contamination and the District of Vanderhoof will soon bring in a drill machine to install monitoring wells to detect how far the contamination goes and which way it’s spreading.

The old Kwik Save site excavation has revealed contamination and the District of Vanderhoof will soon bring in a drill machine to install monitoring wells to detect how far the contamination goes and which way it’s spreading.

Excavation has revealed contamination which may cost the District of Vanderhoof more to reclaim the old Kwik Save.

How much more is unknown as the amount of contamination is yet to be measured.

“The four tanks are in relatively good condition which was a surprise because we have hot soils which can be difficult on metal objects,” said Paul Carver, Director of Operations. “There should have been some contortions, which there wasn’t, but we think what happened is there was spillage over the years combined with possible leakage from previous tanks.”

NAPP Enterprises Limited, (the same company who did the expert demolition of the old provincial building) has removed the asphalt, fuel tanks and all associated piping. They found a large concrete pad about six to eight inches thick nobody knew existed, but once lifted, the contamination was found in varying degrees in the material above and surrounding the tanks.

AMEC, an environmental company out of Prince George, took soil samples during the excavation from within and around the hole. Results from lab testing should be known in a few weeks and will show the level of contamination the soil holds. If tests show below commercial grade contamination it may be possible to despose of it locally but, if it’s above, it will need to be transported. The closest site is Back To Earth Remediation, north Prince George, and with trucking cost and tipping fees, that’s where the significant costs will come in, said Mr. Carver.

“We want to go by the book and lead by example,” said Mr. Carver.  “We need to look at the bigger picture as far as contamination goes.”

According to provincial regulations, the contaminated material once removed from the hole normally cannot be put back in the hole. However, because no ground water was found, and there is evidence the contamination of the surrounding in-place material is equal

to or greater than the material excavated, the DOV was given the option to put it back and deal with it later. The hole has now been filled back in, contaminated material first, followed by a double protective liner to separate the contaminated material from the new import gravel which was added to make up for the volume lost following tank removal.

“So even with the additional concrete removal, our costs aren’t quite as bad as we thought since we don’t have to deal with the soil just yet. The plan now is to track where the contamination has gone and how far it may, if any, has spread,” said Mr. Carver.

The district’s next step is to bring in a drill machine drill holes in specific locations to allow sampling. The sampling wells will be monitored on an ongoing bases and if tests show contamination movement, additional wells may be required outside the target area.

Since AMEC reports to the province, the site is now recorded with the Ministry of Environment as a known contaminated site. This project represents a Stage Two Assessment meaning,  the DOV can look at outside funding sources to help with the costs.

“But we’re keeping all our bills,” said Vanderhoof mayor Gerry Thiessen. “The public wants us to accept no liability that we don’t need to accept.  I’m hoping to [find out soon], if it is the owner or the original contaminators and how do we go about handling it.”

 

Just Posted

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. Northern Health confirmed it has the lowest vaccination rates amongst the province’s five regional health authorities. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Vaccination rates in Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, Fort St James well below provincial average

COVID-19 immunization clinics for youth 12+ coming up in Fort St. James

Steve McAdam (left) is studying substrate conditions in the Nechako River and how they impact sturgeon eggs. The work will help design habitat restoration measures, said McAdam. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Sturgeon egg studies to help inform future habitat restoration

“It’s an interesting, challenging issue,” says Steve McAdam

Saik’uz First Nation Coun. Jasmine Thomas and Chief Priscilla Mueller speak about the need for addiction treatment facility near Vanderhoof, March 2021. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Vanderhoof addiction treatment centre tries again with ministry support

Agriculture minister insists she is not interfering in land commission

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read