At the South Island Aggregates (SIA) public meeting on July 12th, President Garry Horwood, on behalf of the board of directors of the Shawnigan Residents Association, expressed strong opposition to the Province's granting a waste discharge permit to South Island Aggregates (SIA) that, if granted, would enable the rock mining company to import huge amounts of contaminated soil from anywhere into the lake's watershed over the next half century.
"We will not accept this type of development in our drinking-water watershed." he said, explaining that the placement of contaminated waste in this community's watershed is primarily a matter of right and wrong; an ethical issue.
Despite assurances from SIA and its engineers that the waste will be sequestered in such a way that the toxins and contaminants contained in it will never get into Shawnigan Lake through surface water or ground water routes, even following a major earthquake (i.e. over 7.2 on the Richter scale), the directors of the residents association felt strongly that it is unwise and wrong to bring such material into our reservoir's watershed even if the estimated risk of pollution is very small. The association is of the opinion that there is no such thing as "no risk" with such storage undertakings, and that it would be best to find a site to receive the contaminated waste in a southern Vancouver Island watershed that does not feed water into a community's reservoir.