Cowichan News Leader

Asbestos being removed from former Galaxy Niteclub-site debris

Enviro-Vac crews in hazard suits were busy Wednesday bagging asbestos at the former Galaxy Niteclub site south of Duncan, where Island Tractor plans to build. The waste is bound for a landfill. - Peter W. Rusland
Enviro-Vac crews in hazard suits were busy Wednesday bagging asbestos at the former Galaxy Niteclub site south of Duncan, where Island Tractor plans to build. The waste is bound for a landfill.
— image credit: Peter W. Rusland

Public safety is not at risk at the former Galaxy Niteclub site south of Duncan, so long as you stay away and let clean-up crews do their job.

Crews in haz-mat suits caught the attention of hundreds of drivers Wednesday as they were busy stuffing asbestos into bright-yellow bags at the site.

People were warned to stay away from the property — where local Island Tractor aims to build — by caution tape strung by Coast Environmental around the flattened Galaxy building.

Cowichan Bay Director Lori Iannidinardo said she was “freaked” after seeing all the activity.

But CVRD environmental-waste boss, Bob McDonald, said it appeared removal work was being done properly after a recent site quarantine period.

“It’s very hazardous once it becomes airborne and gets into the lungs,” McDonald said of the fire-resistant stuff that’s basically stable if left undisturbed inside building walls.

“They (removal crews) have to leave the site spick and span.”

Measures are necessary to prevent asbestos fibres — linked to cancer, lung ailments and more — becoming airborne in the immediate area, he noted.

CVRD building inspector Grant Breckenridge said the region issued the demolition permit on Oct. 18.

“They got started, then got shut down,” he said of Workers’ Compensation Board concerns about crew safety during the demolition, and the presence of potentially hazardous materials.

Breckenridge indicated site remediation is now happening under a different firm.

Gregg Gale, of the new firm Enviro-Vac remediation, explained the operation was expected to be done in about two weeks. It will see the asbestos head to an approved landfill.

Cowichan Valley Regional District staff said the closest dump that could accept asbestos would be Victoria’s Hartland facility, or Cedar’s landfill near Nanaimo.

“We refer people to other landfills,” an engineering services’ staffer said.

“It’s not accepted at our facilities at Bings Creek, Peerless Road or Meade Creek.”

Gord Fraser of Island Tractor & Supply, has stated his firm’s new building could take “a couple of years.”

The new four-acre site sits off Cowichan Station’s Bench Road, where the Galaxy — now demolished, after being bought from David Chang — stood for decades.

The Area E property needs regional rezoning to light-industrial use from the current commercial zoning.

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