The Village of Cache Creek has received a notice of intention to issue an operational certificate for the Cache Creek landfill extension, says mayor John Ranta.
The letter, issued by statutory approving officer A.J. Downie, was received from the Ministry of the Environment on July 28.
“It’s good news,” says Ranta. “I’m dancing around, celebrating.” He cautions, however, that there is still a lot of work to do.
A 30-day clock starts ticking on August 4, when a notice will appear in The Journal giving people an opportunity to comment on the proposed operational certificate. Copies of the certificate can be viewed at the Village of Cache Creek office on Quartz Road; at the Cache Creek and Ashcroft libraries; at the Wastech office; and online at the Belkorp website.
“The operational certificate is an administrative document that sets out the site specifications regarding the operating, monitoring, and reporting requirements for the extension,” says Ranta. The 30 days give members of the public an opportunity to comment on the Ministry of the Environment’s intentions for the site.
Once the comments have been received and considered, the statutory approving officer can issue the certificate, provided nothing unforeseen comes up. The certificate is then subject to another 30-day appeal period.
Ranta says that every change to the operational certificate issued to the landfill has been appealed, but that none of the appeals have resulted in the certificate being denied.
“Once the certificate is actually issued, it will be up to Belkorp’s board of directors to decide if they will go ahead,” Ranta explains. “If the board is comfortable with the perceived risk of spending money on putting the liner system in, knowing the certificate could be appealed, it would enhance the chance of the liner going in this year.”
However, if they are reluctant to install the liner until the 30-day appeal period for the actual certificate has passed—which would be mid-October at the earliest—then it is unlikely work would commence before 2017.
Ranta says that the double liner system is far in excess of what is required. “It allows us to boast that the Cache Creek landfill extension will be the most environmentally sound municipal solid waste landfill in North America.” The extension could extend the life of the current landfill for more than 35 years.
The landfill will continue to accept waste from communities in the western portion of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District until December 2016, at which time it is scheduled to close. Approximately half the Wastech employees at the site have been laid off, with the remainder scheduled to be laid off between now and the end of 2016.
Should the landfill extension not be constructed before the end of the year, waste from Cache Creek and Ashcroft would continue to be transported to the site, where it would then be transferred to one of the TNRD’s other landfills (either Heffley Creek or Lower Nicola). Trucking waste to one of the other sites rather than Cache Creek would cost TNRD residents approximately $500,000 per year.