August 20, 2015 - 2:30 PM
KAMLOOPS – While Arrow Transportation Systems has apologized to residents of Dallas for the sawdust which blew into their neighbourhood, the company's vice president would not apologize for its biosolids operation and denies the dust contained biosolids.
Arrow Transportation operates a biosolds processing operation at the Blackwell Dairy Farm. The company trucks the biolsolids from Vancouver, mixes them with sawdust and uses the end product as topsoild at the farm.
Dallas residents complained the dust from a large sawdust pile at the edge of the property was consistently blowing into their homes and yards.
Vice-president Tim Bell says they moved the sawdust “as urgently and quickly as possible” when they learned of the problems it was causing. He says his company hired a contractor at considerable cost to remove the sawdust pile, which was completed removed by Aug. 6.
Bell says the dust did not have biosolids in it. He says when mixing the biosolids with the sawdust, water is added and “the product does not lift into the air.” He explained the biosolid piles are 70 to 75 per cent moisture and there is no way the particles can blow away.
At city counci's regular meeting this week, Coun. Donovan Cavers asked if Arrow Transportation would agree to testing. Bell said in an effort to be transparent the company would, but added the problem was there is no biosolids test. Because it’s organic matter there may be no difference between biosolid and actual soil.
Coun. Arjun Singh suggested the city write a letter to the B.C. Farm Industry Review Board to ask if Arrow Transportation was in contravention of acceptable farm practice and, if so, suggest remedies.
City staff has presented a report about the issue of biosolids and the Arrow operation, which says the city has little recourse if the company is using agricultural specific land and maintaining acceptable farm practices.
A Dallas residents' group presented their concerns about biosolids at the farm back on July 28. It's the same group which protested Arrow Transportation's practices with a group from Merritt who regularly protests against the processing of biosolids in their region.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015