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Waste plant foes file notice in court against recycling company

Opponents of a waste recycling plant say they have filed an application in court to start the rezoning process over again. Here the coalition is seen on the site of the proposed Aevitas plant on Cannor Road. - JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS FILE
Opponents of a waste recycling plant say they have filed an application in court to start the rezoning process over again. Here the coalition is seen on the site of the proposed Aevitas plant on Cannor Road.
— image credit: JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS FILE

The coalition fighting the Chilliwack location for a hazardous waste recycling plant is continuing its efforts to prevent construction of the Aevitas facility near the Fraser River.

Notice has been filed in B.C. Supreme Court to have the rezoning bylaw set aside, according to a press release by a coalition of First Nations, environmental, sport fishing and community groups.

Opponents say a successful outcome in court would see a return to the beginning of the city’s rezoning process for a hazardous waste recycling plant on Cannor Road.

But to date the City of Chilliwack has not received any notice of a court challenge, officials confirmed on Tuesday.

The coalition’s main concern has been what they cited as inadequate notification for the Dec. 3  rezoning hearing, which city officials have maintained was conducted strictly in accordance with the rules and legislation.

But critics also took aim at the company’s safety record, saying council had been misled.

Aevitas founder Byron Day stated at the hearing in Chilliwack that the company has not suffered a safety incident in its 20 years of operation.

Not true, said Glen Thompson, president of Friends of the Chilliwack River Valley, referring to a 2005 fire that broke out at a Custom Environmental Services (CES) site.

“So imagine our surprise when we now learned about the explosions and the fire at the Aevitas facility in Edmonton,” he said in the press release.

But Aevitas officials had “no involvement” or connection whatsoever with the Edmonton CES facility until they purchased it six years later in 2011, The Progress has learned.

In any case, the Aevitas facility in Chilliwack would be equipped with automatic sprinklers, and a drainage station that can be completely shut off with sewerage piped directly to the city’s sewage treatment plant.

Not only that, but the Edmonton site is undergoing a $10 million capital investment, including the purchase price and upgrades.

Aevitas officials were quick to correct allegations being spread by the coalition, because they’re preparing for a grand re-opening of the updated state-of-the-art facility this spring in a brand-new building in Edmonton.

“It’s going to be a showcase,” said Aevitas rep Tom Maxwell. “We can’t wait.”

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Twitter.com/chwkjourno

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