Bottling plant proposal needs answers

Many questions yet to be answered in bottled water plant proposal for Clinton.

The Village of Clinton is considering a water bottling plant proposal and it’s garnering much public interest, not all of it positive.

Council deferred a zoning amendment decision at its Aug. 12 meeting pending further information.

Clinton Mayor Jim Rivett says Council had asked its lawyers for a legal opinion which it didn’t get in time for the meeting, and there were questions from the public gallery which couldn’t be answered at the time.

Chinese developers Clinton Hongyang Zhengong International Investments Ltd. is proposing to build a mineral water bottling facility adjacent to the as yet unopened wood products plant at the south entrance to the Village on Hwy 97 at Duck Lakes. They will be extracting water from an underground aquifer there.

Rivett says the developer plans to operate 16 hours per day, five days a week and will employ 40-60 people – “Which is huge for us.”

Nearly two dozen people attended an Aug. 25 public hearing with the project’s developer. Rivett says many people had questions concerning the town’s own water supply and the capacity of the aquifer.

“The experts didn’t do their homework,” says Andrew May, “and that’s a damn shame because now there’s fear that it’s going to hurt our water system. They could have put all that to bed if they’d come prepared with answers.”

May is a member of the public who  has been attending Council meetings for the past three years out of his own interest.

He says it’s just his opinion, but he doesn’t think there’s any way it can affect Clinton’s water source, which comes from a different aquifer up in the hills.

This particular aquifer, says May, is a relatively shallow aquifer at the south entrance in an industrial area. There is a map that shows the registered wells that use the aquifer, but there are also unregistered wells in the area – wells that were drilled before registration was necessary.

Part of the problem, says May, is that the developers don’t know the limits of the aquifer and can’t say who will be affected.

Two nearby businesses use the aquifer, but neither business owner was contacted by the developer.

The High Bar Band was also unhappy that it had not been consulted.

A special Committee of the Whole meeting on Sept. 16 was attended by more that 26 interested citizens. Councillors read out the questions collected during the previous week for discussion. Those questions and more were grouped and forwarded to the appropriate agencies for answers.

“People are concerned but they’re not up in arms yet,” says May. “Any business in Clinton that employs more than  two people is wonderful.”

Four years ago, says Rivett, Clinton’s economic development committee made contact with Chinese businesses who came to Clinton and looked around.

“It’s been in the works for a while,” he says.

Just Posted

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Technology allows TNRD residents to see the heat

A new library program allows residents to borrow a thermal imaging camera and check for heat loss

Are you a victim of the thermostat wars?

The battle over the thermostat is quite heated in many households.

Community Income Tax volunteers will be at local libraries to help with tax returns

Lower-income singles and families can take advantage of free tax return service

Local News Briefs: Free Family Day weekend movie at the HUB

Plus an ice fishing derby, a Fancy Schmancy Tea Party, the Million Dollar Bursary is back, and more.

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Searchers return to avalanche-prone peak in Vancouver to look for snowshoer

North Shore Rescue, Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog teams and personnel will be on Mt. Seymour

Market volatility, mortgages loom over upcoming earnings of Canada’s big banks

Central bank interest hikes have padded the banks’ net interest margins

Hearings into SNC-Lavalin affair start today, but not with Wilson-Raybould

She has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse all comment

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

B.C. pot giant Tilray to acquire hemp food company Manitoba Harvest for up to $419 million

Tilray will pay $150 million in cash and $127.5 million in stock.

Tears, flowers at impromptu memorial for Syrian children killed in Halifax fire

The family had only lived in the Quartz Drive home for a few months

NDP candidates push for stronger climate action as Singh supports LNG Canada

Singh has tried to project unity in the party while facing internal criticism for poor fundraising and low support in the polls

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

Most Read