Fly ash always a concern

Fly ash contamination at the Landfill not a new problem.

Dear Editor

It appears that some of the fly ash now at CC has to be removed. The reason to remove the fly ash appears to have come about after discovering that the levels of cadmium in the leachate exceed acceptable levels several times over. This means that, since cadmium is a cancer-producing agent, the cadmium-laced ash is hazardous and has no place in a facility that is not supposed to accept such materials.

Treated fly ash has been accepted at the CC Landfill for many years on the assumption that the treatment of the ash effectively and fully stabilized the heavy metals in it, cadmium included.

Since Wastech, Cache Creek, and the Ministry are in possession of the same evidence that I have, they have known for years that according to some studies the method of treatment is not foolproof, that in fact it manages to stabilize cadmium at less than the 50 per cent level.

The latest findings, therefore, should come as no surprise. Reasonably enough, Cache Creek, Wastech and the Ministry appear now to be doing something to rectify this unsettling situation at the ash monofill (in the Annex).

What remains totally worrisome, particularly for those of us living downstream of the facility, is this: If we assume – as we should – that the treatment of fly ash has all along been imperfect, what will be done with the thousands upon thousands of tonnes of fly ash dumped in the main part of the landfill and mixed in with the regular garbage?

Ermes Culos

Area I