Fisheries questions halt excavation at ECO Depot

Anti-ECO Depot posse members are applauding Lavonne Huneck’s sharp eyes.

That’s after the Cobble Hill resident tipped off her fellow foes of machine work taking place Monday at the CVRD’s proposed recycling station site.

“I took a stroll there this morning and am happy to report, there were no more machines,” Cliff Evans said Tuesday on the group’s victory at halting excavating work near a fish-bearing stream on the ALR portion of the property.

CVRD communications consultant Kim VanBruggen confirmed work was stopped short due to local concerns.

“The workers were onsite yesterday to dig test pits to help engineers finalize the design plans of an enhanced wetland area, and to determine proposed road improvements on the land surrounding the proposed ECO Depot,” VanBruggen said.

The hole digging was strictly for collecting data, she said, also making clear the CVRD hadn’t hired someone to start groundbreaking for the ECO Depot.

“It was really to determine what kind of soil was onsite and whether the drainage would be sufficient or not.”

But for Evans and fellow opponents, the fact any work at all was being done near a fruitful stream amidst cutthroat trout season is alarming.

“We have studied this thing to death. They have all the plans in front of them.”

According to Evans, no work should be done in or near fish-bearing streams until an Aug. 15 to Sept. 15 window.

“I talked to the fisheries officer, Willie Jensen. She was on another job but said she would phone (CVRD staff) right away and try and have a look at the site this evening or tomorrow morning.”

ECO Depot opponent Daniel Marshall has also tapped on the shoulder of the Department of Environment but is awaiting a response.

“We decided to stop after Cliff came by. He raised some issues and we wanted to make sure we were absolutely 100 per cent crystal clear,” VanBruggen said, noting they had been in talks with the DFO and no concerns came from that department.

She wasn’t sure when, and if any of the digging would resume.

Meanwhile, Evans said a bright-orange sign appeared on the site Tuesday, marking a mineral claim under the B.C. Mineral Tenure Act.

CVRD staff couldn’t provide details on the sign or any indication on what it might mean to the proposal at hand before press time.

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