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Junk piled on farm catches North Cowichan's attention

North Cowichan
North Cowichan's bylaw officer is investigating mounds of debris on a farm in Richards Trail.
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Mounds of junk piled on a North Cowichan farm have caught the attention of municipal government.

An investigation is underway about laws controlling mountains of trash and wood waste at Pastula’s Farm, off Richards Trail.

Rob Clark, North Cowichan’s bylaw officer, said the junk is piled on a part of the property that is not in the Agricultural Land Reserve.

“We’re working at this level to determine if what he’s (farm) doing is legal. We’re unsure if it’s legal to pile it up,” Clark said of working with B.C.’s environment ministry staff.

Those piles, he said, don’t hold garbage, but do contain waste from a mill site.

“We don’t know what he’s going to do, or what material he’s got on site.”

But Clark does know numerous loads have been trucked to Pastula’s small rock-quarry site for some time.

“That volume didn’t just happen overnight,” he noted.

Questions have been raised about the possibility the debris might be burned, but Clark said that is illegal under B.C.’s Waste Management Act.

The farm has applied to B.C.’s mines ministry to expand its current small quarry into a far larger operation.

North Cowichan council — through Mayor Jon Lefebure — and staff have sent mines brass their objections spanning noise, dust, traffic and water pollution, about that permit application.

The Pastulas had not returned the News Leader Pictorial call by press time.

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