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REPORTING · 15th April 2012
Walter McFarlane
Councillor Mary Murphy gave a pair of notes on April 2nd Regular Meeting of Council. In her second note, she asked council a question about bears at the Rio Tinto Alcan Camp.

“There were bears on the other side that ate the nice greenery there, now they are smelling all the fumes of the beautiful bacon and roasts, steaks on the barbecue and I’m concerned about shooting bears in that area so I’m wondering if anyone has done any investigation into what’s going to happen in that area regarding bears,” said Murphy.

Tim Gleig, head of the District of Kitimat Engineering Department stated Rio Tinto Alcan is private property so they do not do anything there.

Councillor Phil Germuth agreed. He wanted to ask Bechtel when the garbage was removed or incinerated. Mayor Joanne Monaghan piped up stated they could be putting it in large bear proof containers. Germuth asked if bears would come and try to get into said garbage cans.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff hoped they were asking questions. He stated Bechtel has done significant planning. “We shouldn’t suppose that the garbage isn’t being removed quick enough or suppose that the containers aren’t appropriate. We can make inquirers. I suspect they have a very high level of service and professionalism in the construction area there,” said Feldhoff.

He said he was looking forward to the reply.

Murphy also wanted to know what the impact of the garbage from the camp would be on the local landfill and if staff has looked into this.

Gleig stated he was unsure if the camp waste was being hauled to the local landfill or the Rio Tinto Alcan Landfill. However, with the population of the work camp at 1500, it should not have an impact on the landfill.

Murphy stated the landfill has a lifespan which is why they must remain on top of it. Gleig stated they do guard the life of the landfill.

Feldhoff stated he is under the impression the Rio Tinto Landfill is electrified.

Gleig stated the only discussions they have had relate to water supply and sanitation. The sewage is brought to the local sewage treatment plant.

We asked Rio Tinto Alcan about these issues and they replied telling us bears were not a problem last fall, with the exception of one cub.

“We had a cub at the entrance to the camp that had become disoriented by new fencing. Conservation and Wildlife attended and reunited the cub with its mother who was seen to the east of the site near the Methanex plant,” explained Colleen Nyce

Nyce explained the camp has fencing and its waste is located in sealed containers which are being emptied regularly. “The project has an approved plan to manage wildlife that may come in contact with the project. This plan has been communicated to Camp residents and personnel,” added Nyce.

She also added non recyclable waste was taken to the Kitimat Municipal dump. Recyclable material is being collected by local charities.
Comment by CEM on 2nd August 2012
Just another way of discouraging buisness, when council should be keeping an eye on their bird feeders. There are so many wild mountain ash trees at the view point and various areas around Kitimat that should be cut down. Bears love these berries. But oh no.....they are just too pretty to be cut down.
The dump should be moved as it is too close to the Cable Car subdivision.... Ozard Creek, which flows into Hirsch Creek and then into the Kitimat River. Just as there is concerns about leaching at the Onion Lake site for the new Dump.
Thanks Mary
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 27th April 2012
But another concern is the length of time to clean up the site. Does the time run into perpituity or is there a time frame. I would hate to see the site kept being sold and constantly sluffing the clean up onto the new owners.. Thanks for responding .
also very important
Comment by mary on 26th April 2012
Apocalypse now...When apache purchased eurocan site it purchased the environmental liability, financial stability for the clean up would have been established in case apache goes broke etc, as the liability goes right back to west fraser.
Also very important...
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 25th April 2012
Could council also look into what is going on at Eurocan ?What is being done to adress the environmental hazards at the old mill site?Who is going to be responsible for it? If Apache goes broke is the district stuck with clean up costs? I look forward to a reply.
Comment by mary on 25th April 2012
Thanks Abby, i will be looking at the issue regarding the KGH/DOK. the District has hired a counsultant to look at ways to reduce/improve our carbon footprint. (there is a grant to support this) I SUPPORT industries and Businesses in town, and progress, but it is up to every person, unions, to ensure our community is kept safe and environmental issues taken care of. The landfill is a huge issue, and we need to keep on top of this. Thanks again for you comments, much appreciated. Mary
Comment by Rory Brown on 20th April 2012
Bears at Alcan, really? Is there no pressing issues in our town with no stores? If the bears are such an issue, I have an idea. We could all take a Bear Whispering Course. All we need is a trained profesional to teach it. If only there was someone on council that knew how to do it.............
If council is so worried about the landfill, why are the recyclable materials from the hospital and other city buildings going to the dump. And Walter, when you titled this article, I think you had a good idea.
look local
Comment by Abby on 17th April 2012
I think before Mary Murphy tries to chase another business out of town worrying about how much garbage they are putting in the landfill they should look very closely around town. Does she know how much cardboard the Kitimat General Hospital sends to the landfill a week. Yes, since KUTE no longer picks up cardboard they are sending it all to the landfill. How much recycling does the District of Kitimat do? Are they too sending all of their cardboard and recycle material to the landfill?
It is time for Kitimat to become "a bear aware"
Comment by larry on 16th April 2012
The provincial government has just announced new funding ($250,000.00) for certification under the Bear Aware Program. I understand there are only FOUR COMMUNITIES in all of BC that are certified as such. Maybe the time has finally come for Kitimat to join this group?
Council on top of landfill
Comment by Carlosroberto on 16th April 2012
I find it ludicrous that Council is expressing concern about bears and garbage at the Bechtel camp when they do nothing about residents of the community placing garbage on the curb hours and sometimes days before pick-up. Drive any garbage collection route around midnight and 1 a.m. and see how many people are enticing bears into our residential neighbourhoods creating a situation that is deadly for bears and a potential hazard for residents. This is a far greater issue than a few bears in an industrial site. I guess trying to micro-manage Bechtel is an easier choice than putting teeth into controlling residential garbage.