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CanLava explains soil dumping plan for Nazko mine west of Quesnel

Tech firm breaks down how contaminates break down safely

These are excerpts from a statement issued by WeaverTech, the science-construction-engineering firm working on behalf of the CanLava Mining Corporation regarding an idea to store contaminated - but not toxic - soils at their mine site at the Nazko Cone Volcano.

This idea would be as a source of hauling revenue for CanLava trucks travelling empty from the Lower Mainland to the mine site. The company’s contention is, the proposed soils are those that need to sit untouched to allow time to break down the contaminants. The site would be built to prevent any possible contact with the soil in an unsafe manner, including no water runoff.

The idea is so far opposed by many of the area’s residents and the Nazko First Nation, pending meaningful consultation and science-based assurances that are accepted by the NFN on behalf of the Nazko people.

CanLava Proposed Soil Disposal Facility Media Statement (HIGHLIGHTS)

• CanLava Mining Corp. is applying for a permit to accept waste soils at the location of the lava rock quarry located 13.5 km west of the community of Nazko, BC. The application is to receive up to 40,000 tonnes per year of soils.

• The levels and types of contaminants contained in the soils that CanLava would receive would be allowed to exceed the levels stipulated in the BC Contaminated Sites Regulations (BC Reg. 375/96, last amended July 7, 2021, Schedule 3.1, for “Industrial” standards). However, they would not be allowed to exceed levels that are stipulated in the Hazardous Waste Regulation (BC Reg. 63/88, last amended March 11, 2021, Part 1).

• The quantities of the contaminants that would be allowed in the soils CanLava receives would not exceed the applicable legal allowances. All soils sent to CanLava’s proposed facility are required to undergo testing by a licensed third-party laboratory to ensure they are within the legal limits.

• The designs include a dual liner system (60 mil HDPE liner + geosynthetic clay liner) with leak detection and a lifespan of 100 years, leachate and stormwater collection and management systems, and the recommended buffers and berms to contain the disposal cell and limit wildlife from entering the area. The entire area including all berms and water collection and retention systems is 10.7 ha or 0.107 km2.

• Many municipal landfills in B.C. (including in Quesnel) are permitted to and actively accept contaminated soils. This means that municipal landfills pose both the same risks as the proposed soil facility as well as additional ones. In spite of this, the proposed facility will be built to the same standards as a modern municipal landfill.

• The site for the proposed facility occurs within the current lava rock quarry so it is not accessible to the public. Wildlife avoid the location as it is situated directly within quarry activities. The full report containing the environmental assessments and proposed management and mitigation plans is available upon request.

• First Nations consultations are considered ongoing. Information packages have been sent to the Tsilhqot’in National Government, Nazko First Nation, and the Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation.

The entire document is available for viewing in the story’s photo gallery.

READ MORE: Deeds with dirt aren’t dirty deeds, regarding Quesnel-area soil dump

READ MORE: Nazko not digging soil dump idea west of Quesnel


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Frank Peebles

About the Author: Frank Peebles

I started my career with Black Press Media fresh out of BCIT in 1994, as part of the startup of the Prince George Free Press, then editor of the Lakes District News.
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