City has little say about Blackwell Dairy biosolids
By Dana Reynolds
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August 18, 2015 - 11:30 AM
KAMLOOPS – The problems associated with Blackwell Dairy Farm and its use of biosolids are outside of the City of Kamloops’ control, according to a new report.
The report, which will be presented to city council Tuesday, Aug. 18, says if the dairy farm is following normal farming practices and using land meant specifically for agriculture, the city has little recourse, regardless of the number of resident complaints.
Residents of Dallas brought complaints of dust blowing off the dairy farm to council earlier this year. The group allege the dust contains biosolids, pointing to its thick, black consistency to back their claim.
Bylaw enforcement officers believe the dust stemmed from a large sawdust pile and multiple heavy trucks driving to and from the property. Biosolids are mixed on site with either sand or sawdust to make material used on the farm.
At a July council meeting Community Safety and Enforcement Manager Jon Wilson said there was no evidence the dust was a biosolid. He said Arrow Transportation Systems, which mixes Blackwell Dairy’s biosolids at the site, agreed to move the sawdust pile and put dust suppressant on the gravel road.
According to the report, local governments are unable to enforce nuisance bylaws if a farming operation meets provincial criteria. If the farm is engaging in operations as defined by the Farm Practices Protection Act, is not in violation of acts like the Public Health Act and operates on land reserves for agriculture, the city can do very little.
Based on these acts, the city can only ask the company to move their sawdust pile, which they have done, Wilson said.
The report advises concerned citizens to call the B.C. Farm Industry Review Board, an impartial farm review board.
Recently Dallas residents teamed up recently with an anti-biosolids group from Merritt to protest the biosolid operations at Blackwell Dairy.
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