The Brookswood Fernridge Community Association was one of a number of individuals and organizations who appealed to the BC Environmental Appeals Board, the granting of an emissions permit to Weir Canada by Metro Vancouver for their plant in South Surrey. This action was supported by the Brookswood Fernridge Community Association out of concern that the operation could potentially adversely impact the Brookswood aquifer, add to soils contamination and represent a health risk to South Langley residents.
At the EAB hearing, Weir Canada agreed to setting up a joint technical committee to examine in a scientifically accurate manner the impact of the Weir operation. Weir Canada agree to financially support the work of the committee and experts from both Weir Canada and the appellants. Technical experts, reports and external consultants required to support the investigation by the joint technical committee were also supported financially by Weir Canada.
The process worked extremely well and perhaps set a precedent for future dealings with the Environmental Appeals Board and Metro Vancouver.
The final report conclusions represent a positive outcome for the residents of both South Langley and South Surrey. The two scientists who represented our interests on the joint technical committee, Jim Bolton and Jim Armstrong deserve a great deal of credit for the work they undertook on our behalf.
A link to the final report is attached for those who wish to read the document as well as a copy of a letter from Weir Canada committing them to environmental “best practices”
A summary of the report conclusions is below:
As a result of the analytical studies undertaken by the Weir TC, they are convinced that:
1. No significant contaminant discharge was detected for either lead or toluene.
2. In particular, the operations at the Weir Plant have no significant impact on the Brookswood aquafer through ground / groundwater or soil contamination or effect on human health from emissions.
3. A mass balance analysis indicated that almost all of the input contaminants could be accounted for in documented outputs.
4. The Committee wishes to report that the internal Weir technical representatives and the independent external consultants have worked together very well and in a professional and transparent environment.”