Work underway to seal old Koksilah ash dump

If you’ve noticed a steady stream of trucks taking off from the old Koksilah Road landfill and travelling south toward Bamberton, that’s Cowichan Tribes cleaning up tens of thousands of tonnes of old incinerator ash, CVRD’s Bob McDonald said Monday.
According to the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s manager of recycling and waste, Tribes got its hands on a federal funding grant to deal with heaps of ash left from when an incinerator ran there from the mid-‘70s to late ‘90s.
Tribes is finalizing a contract with the company hired to move a portion of the ash to Richmond using the Bamberton port’s barge facility to get it there, McDonald said.
“They’re dealing with it, sorting out all the material, and they’ve got too much onsite to manage on the footprint they’re occupying,” he explained.
“They’re trucking off a portion of it to a landfill in Richmond so they can start work on the site.”
McDonald said the CVRD has been working with Tribes for a couple of years on a game plan for ash removal.
The former-CVRD site is on band land, McDonald said, noting ash doesn’t poise a huge environmental threat but removal must be done properly.
“They’re going to cap it properly and basically put it to bed to so it doesn’t pose any environmental risk.
“It’s kind of an industrial waste. It’s not unlike contaminated soil but it’s not soil. The degree of contamination is there but it’s minimal,” he explained. 
“They’re going to dig up the whole shooting match, the soils around it all, and deal with it all properly.”
McDonald believes Tribes will soon be looking towards future uses of the Koksilah Road dump site. 
“There used to be a big ravine there and I think they’re aiming to bring it back up to some usable grade so it can be for other uses in the future,” he said.
Tribes spokesperson John Keating would not comment on the project prior to a contract being signed. He said an announcement could be forthcoming as soon as Friday.
Work has already begun on removing the access ash to Richmond.

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