Soil-dumping threatens Sooke Lake, too


Re: “Rally decries Shawnigan Lake landfill,” Jan. 7

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In my opinion, the subterranean ground water runoff from aquifers at or near the Shawnigan Lake dump site put Sooke Lake at risk as well. The dump site is a few hundred metres above Sooke Lake and within the same proximity that Shawnigan Lake is. I think it’s about time we recognize the problem is perpetual and farther reaching than what is being reported.

Denis Lowen, an engineer with 40 years’ experience as a hydrologist and one of the country’s foremost experts on aquifer mapping, stated in an affidavit regarding the Stebbings Road contaminated-soil landfill:

“At the core of my observations and concerns about the landfill is my professional opinion that insufficient testing and evidence gathering has been completed on the site to form a reasonable basis for a decision to permit a contaminated soil landfill to operate there. The proponent’s hydro- geologists, Active Earth Engineering Ltd., are of the view that beneath the site is an ‘aquitard,’ a large slab of impermeable rock that will contain the toxic soils and prevent contaminants from migrating to the native groundwater. I do not believe sufficient studies have been done to draw that conclusion and I see indications to the contrary that suggest groundwater likely does flow through the bedrock beneath the site.”

Aquifer mapping is inadequate to rule out the possibility of Sooke lake watershed contamination.

Dave Coster


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