January 2, 2006

Cleanup completed of former landfill on BC's Pitt River

VICTORIA, BC-The cleanup of a former landfill on the banks of the Pitt River has been completed, under the auspices of the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands' Crown contaminated sites program. Over a period of years, the river channel had migrated, eroding the riverbank and exposing and washing debris downstream. The site was initially assessed by the ministries of Environment and of Forests and Range, with responsibility for remediation assigned to the contaminated sites program due to the urgent need to stop the erosion of garbage and prevent the release of contaminants into the river. Excavation of the site was supposed to be completed by mid-November, but in the course of this work, crews discovered that the actual quantity of debris was nearly double the original estimated tonnage. In total, more than 22,000 tonnes of debris were removed. The waste recovered from the former landfill was taken by barge to a disposal facility in Richmond. The excavated area was then backfilled with clean fill material and an erosion barrier constructed to stabilize the riverbank. The site has now been tested to confirm that it is clean. The provincial government also contracted a local fishing lodge owner to pick up any debris that washed downstream before the site was cleaned up. The remediation project was carried out by JJM Construction and Sperling Hansen and Associates.

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