Farm review board won't weigh in until complaint filed against Kamloops dairy
By Dana Reynolds
The B.C. Farm Industry Review Board says unless a complaint is filed against Blackwell Dairy, they cannot comment as to what is considered a 'normal farming practice.'
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September 29, 2015 - 11:30 AM
KAMLOOPS - If Dallas residents want a review board to look into the production of biosolids at Blackwell Dairy, a formal complaint will have to first be filed.
This summer Dallas residents alleged the thick, black dust blowing into their neighbourhood from Blackwell Dairy contained biosolids. The city told residents unless farming operations were deemed a threat to human health or the environment there was very little it could do about the biosolids operation.
The City of Kamloops reached out to the B.C. Farm Industry Review Board for assistance and asked if the 'importation, processing, application and/or distribution of biosolids growing medium on a farm property is considered a normal farming practice.' The city also asked if the review board could identify any solutions reduce the impacts of the dairy’s practices on the residents of Dallas.
In a response to council, the review board said it could not determine what was ‘normal’ until an official complaint was filed. It also said it is not in within their scope to determine if farm practices pose a threat to health or the environmental or what was considered appropriate land use. The board suggested the city look to the Ministry of Agriculture to help with possible solutions.
Arrow Transportation operates a biosolids processing operation at the Blackwell Dairy Farm. The company trucks the biosolids from Vancouver, mixes them with sawdust and uses the end product as topsoil at the farm.
After numerous complaints from residents, the city forced Arrow to remove a sawdust pile perched atop a bluff overlooking Dallas. The company apologized to residents for the dust but maintains that no part of it contained biosolids.
A Dallas residents' group presented their concerns about biosolids production at Blackwell Dairy to council this past summer. This same group protested Arrow Transportation's practices and were backed up by a group from Merritt that regularly protests against the biosolids production in their region.
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