Media Release: First Nations, recreational, environmental and community groups unite against Aevitas hazardous waste site proposed for Fraser River floodplain

For Immediate Release
December 17, 2013

The potential of a catastrophic fish kill due to leaching into the Fraser River of hazardous materials has united First Nations, environmentalists and Sport Fishing organizations in opposition to a proposed hazardous waste site.

Aevitas Inc. proposes to use the site next to the Fraser River in Chilliwack for processing wastes containing PCBs and mercury, and for transfer of materials including corrosive, flammable, toxic and infectious wastes. Tuesday morning, First Nations, recreational, environmental and community groups gathered near the Aevitas site to call for relocation of the proposed facility and for comprehensive public reviews of the proposal by the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Health.

STC Grand Chief Clarence Pennier stated: “The recycle plant will be in the heart of Sto:lo territory and it will be too close to the Fraser River. It’s unacceptable because it poses a danger to the river and the salmon.” Grand Chief Pennier’s concern was echoed by representatives of recreational fishing and conservation groups.

Rod Clapton, President of the B.C. Federation of Drift Fishers stated: “No amount of economic benefit can justify putting a hazardous waste facility next to the world’s Number 1 salmon river.”

Watershed Watch Salmon Society Executive Director Craig Orr said: “Wild salmon are at risk from hazardous spills of PCB’s, mercury, and other contaminants, and placing these toxins next to Canada’s greatest salmon river is fraught with peril.”

Representatives of eleven organizations called for the relocation of the Aevitas facility away from any location with potential for harm to fish stocks.

Groups represented:

  • Sto:lo Tribal Council
  • B.C. Federation of Drift Fishers
  • Fraser Valley Salmon Society
  • B.C. Federation of Fly Fishers
  • Steelhead Society of B.C.
  • Fraser Valley Angling Guides Association
  • Fraser River Salmon Table
  • Chilliwack Fish & Game Protective Association
  • Watershed Watch Salmon Society
  • Wilderness Committee
  • WaterWealth Project

 

Media Contacts:

Sto:lo Tribal Council, Grand Chief Clarence Pennier, ph: 604-798-2795

B.C. Federation of Drift Fishers, President Rod Clapton, cell: 778-822-7577

Watershed Watch Salmon Society, Executive Director Craig Orr, cell: 604-809-2799

WaterWealth Project, Campaign Director Sheila Muxlow, cell: 604-751-0172

For more information see the full backgrounder.

 

 

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Anna Kemp
Communications Manager

anna@watershedwatch.ca 250-884-4072