Recent Items – 2001
Jan. 12, 2001, By Mark Nielsen, Daily News Staff
The quest to convert the Bessborough landfill site into a regional operation has moved a step closer to realization.
The Peace River Regional District (PRRD) board of directors voted 11-2 Thursday to proceed with preliminary design and obtaining the necessary approvals.
Despite heavy criticism from residents in the Bessborough area, Dawson Creek rural director Albert Erbe, who voted in favour of moving the project forward, said it nonetheless remains the best site from both an environmental and economic point of view.
“Bessborough is the only logical site,” he said.
But Dawson Creek municipal director Blair Lekstrom, who will also be the B.C. Liberal candidate in the next provincial election, voted against the motion.
Lekstrom said he would also like to see the same work done for a site north of the Kiskatinaw River as that planned for Bessborough. The Kiskatinaw River site was on a shortlist of options put forward by consultant Konrad Fichtner.
But Fichtner has recommended against the Kiskatinaw River site for several reasons. Prime among them was that it would require 12 kilometres of new roads and about five kilometres of road upgrading, and that a synthetic liner would likely be required.
But Lekstrom said the option still deserves consideration because of the remote location. “Certainly, I would not like to live next to a garbage dump, I don’t think people will,” he said. “At the end of the day, but I’m still not convinced that we need a liner at mile 28, at Kiskatinaw. Those are the things I need to know before I can do it.”
Charlie Lake director Larry Houley voted against the motion because he thought further investigation was warranted into the possibility of a regional landfill that would serve both the North and South Peace.
The Bessborough proposal is intended to create a landfill for the South Peace, serving homes and business from the East Pine west, and to replace the existing landfills in Dawson Creek and Progress.
Although Bessborough is the highly-favoured option, Harald Hansen, the PRRD’s director of field services, said that it’s still not completely guaranteed that it will become a regional landfill.
To meet Ministry of Environment requirements, more extensive test drilling must be performed to more accurately assess the depth, quality and consistency of the clays under the site, to determine the level of groundwater and asses its flow, direction and speed, and to improve information on geotechnical and soil stability issues.
“The decision now to spend this type of money is to prove out the site and to show what we believe to be the case,” he said. “If it’s not the case, then that will have to be looked at.”
No firm figure was given on how much the next step will cost, but Hansen indicated that it would be in the $50,000 to $60,000 range.