Letter to RDOS Board – Regarding the Proposed Composting Facility in Marron Valley
Copy to ODN, MLA Larson, MP Cannings, RDOS Director Siddon
From AmyJo Clark & Colin McFadyen
328 Highway 3A, Kaleden
My husband and I attended the meeting on May 10 at the Kaleden Community Center. I think the RDOS is very much aware there wasn’t a soul there who actually wants the RDOS to site the proposed new facility on Marron Valley Road. But the meeting wasn’t about that. The RDOS knew that already. No, the meeting was a check-off. The RDOS needed to hold a public forum so the RDOS would appear to be listening to our concerns. I think the RDOS knew the gist of our concerns already, and considered them of little importance because the RDOS thought they had solutions in place. The RDOS was there to ferret out information that perhaps they may not have known about the roads and the site. The RDOS was not there to listen to our concerns. I understand that sounds cynical, but I also believe it to be completely true.
I draw your attention to Cameron Baughen’s statement to me that I was “taking this personally.” How insensitive and arrogant. Of course I am. It’s my money, my land, my livelihood, my environment and my neighborhood. I absolutely take it personal. We have put millions of dollars into our home and land. In trying to sell this summer, I know we will never come close to the true value of the property while this is hanging over our heads. And it will be worse for us if the RDOS does build. Who in their right minds would want to buy a house with a landfill just above it? And we are not the only ones trying to sell this summer. The RDOS has harmed property values for everyone in this area as of right now. Not just those designated “31 homes”, but everyone in this valley and that’s hundreds of homes. It is real, tangible money for which the RDOS has not accounted in their proposals. These are real lives you are damaging at this very minute. I honestly do not believe the RDOS gets this or care about us.
The RDOS is down to two sites, ours and Summerland, and the only thing that matters is the almighty dollar. Which property comes the most cheaply. With the least amount of public outcry. Well, brace yourselves. I intend to make this as public as possible.
One public meeting per site is NOT enough. The RDOS didn’t answer enough questions and yes, I had many more as did others, who were told to let more people speak. So indeed, not everyone got their questions asked or answered. After seven years of the RDOS’s own research and minimal testing, you come to us with one meeting and less than adequate information and the RDOS expects us to accept this? That’s ludicrous in the extreme and highly unfair to the public.
I felt the RDOS came across as unconcerned about the environmental issues. It appeared the RDOS thinks they have those completely under control. They believe their technologies will make this facility safe. Having lived in Washington, DC and listened to politicians of all stripes, I can’t begin to swallow that one. That the RDOS proposes this facility on a ridge overlooking a lake is positively frightening. The RDOS has not proven nor pointed to one facility anywhere that has not contaminated its ground water. Rats were just pooh-poohed. Bears? Bear fencing. Odor modeling? The RDOS hasn’t even been up there to test the wind; they used computer graphics. I absolutely and totally reject the RDOS’s assertion that nothing will end up in our water. Shame on you. That’s an enormous concern and the RDOS appeared to belittle it as “solved”. Prove it. Show me. You most certainly didn’t that night.
The RDOS ‘s timeline seems skewed. If I understood correctly, the RDOS will make the decision about which property they want, obtain a lease, THEN do soils, wind and water testing. What happens if they find the property is indeed, unsuitable? This was not answered.
The product of this facility, the compost itself, was not addressed in the remarks made by RDOS. When it did come up, it was in the last question of the evening and wasn’t fully explored. At that point in the evening, I don’t believe anyone understood what the RDOS is producing and what its function or composition is. I know I didn’t get a clear sense. But I have a feeling, it’s not good. I did understand it would be material I would not want to use in my own garden. We didn’t have time to understand much of this part of the process. What happens if the RDOS can’t sell the stuff? Are they intending to store it up there? Ship it out to another storage facility? Again, these questions were not addressed nor answered.
And finally, transportation. It was more than clear Cameron had not been on Marron Valley Road. He had no idea of the issues involved. He didn’t know that the cattle guard is just lying on top of the ditch. That’s for starters. The gentleman with asthma was briefly heard regarding dust, but the issue was not much addressed. The rest of the valley will also be dealing with road dust and that should not be taken lightly. The sheer number of trucks turning on these roads is a guarantee of an accident when the traffic on 3A is traveling at 100 km an hour. The RDOS will need to deal with left turns from both Marron Valley on to 3A and from 3A onto 97, which is already a terribly dangerous intersection. And finally – the RDOS DIDN’T WANT US TO CONSIDER TRUCKS COMING TO GET THE PRODUCT. The RDOS figures 20 – 25 trucks a day coming in and going out. But when this facility is operational, input should equal output, thus ANOTHER 20 – 25 trucks a day or more if you add some of these to be personal trucks and cars. So let’s be honest. That’s more than 100 truck trips per day on 3A and Marron Valley Road. A far cry from the mere 20 the RDOS want us to believe.
Bottom line. I don’t think that Marron Valley or Summerland are suitable sites for a composting facility and the RDOS needs to rethink this proposal. The proposal itself is half-baked with missing information – or perhaps, information to which we the public are not privy. RDOS should look elsewhere for a composting site. This is a pristine site, with pure water, pure air and little to no pollution. Anything you do will pollute the land, air and water. I can’t stress enough how strongly opposed I am to your proposal.
I intend to fight you with all legal means possible.