Forfeiture of contaminated Shawnigan Lake landfill won't affect closure

The forfeiture of a contaminated landfill near Shawnigan Lake will not affect its planned closure, according to the province.

The Ministry of Environment announced in a statement that forfeiture proceedings have begun for the lands owned by Cobble Hill Holdings, which owes $38,106.80 in unpaid taxes dating to 2017, plus penalties and interest.

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The company can recover the property within the next three years if outstanding taxes and penalties are paid.

The contaminated-soil dump, near Shawnigan Lake, is subject to a closure plan ordered by the B.C. government in 2017. The named parties — which includes owners, directors and businesses connected to Cobble Hill Holdings — are responsible for capping the site, preventing any leaks and monitoring safety while the closure is carried out.

There had been concerns that if forfeited, taxpayers would be on the hook for remediating the site’s hundreds of thousands of tonnes of contaminated soil and the cost of preventing future leaks into the Shawnigan Lake watershed.

According to the statement, the company has followed the closure plan and met deadlines for installing monitoring wells, a new seepage blanket and conducting a pre-winter inspection.

 

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