Penticton Indian Band says hands are tied on huge waste pile | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton Indian Band says hands are tied on huge waste pile

There appears to be no local legislation to prevent someone else from allowing garbage to pile up on locatee land on the Penticton Indian Band.
October 02, 2019 - 6:30 PM

PENTICTON - The Penticton Indian Band says it has few options available to prevent a repeat of an expensive and messy situation it finds itself in with Appleton Waste Services' abandoned receiving and sorting facility on locatee land on the band.

The band is requesting the local landfill waive $3.5 million in tipping fees to clean up the site as it tries to deal with Appleton's huge pile of demolition waste left after the company became insolvent earlier this year.

In a letter to the board of the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen which oversees the Campbell Mountain Landfill, Chief Chad Eneas’ said their hands are tied.

“As you may appreciate, the Penticton Indian Reserve lands are not owned by the Penticton Indian Band, they are owned by “her majesty” set aside for our use and benefit. Unless the lands are leased and properly registered pursuant to Section 58(3) of the Indian Act, the band has no control or say on those lands that are owned through a certificate of possession."

Eneas says in the letter the band has made every effort to prevent the accumulation of waste collected at the site, but has few legislative options. He says the band considers the waste pile an “illegal” dump site but it would be cost-prohibitive for the band to move the 5,000 tonnes of waste on its own.

Regional district Electoral area I bounds a portion of the Penticton Indian Band, where Director Subrina Monteith says she’s hoping for a positive outcome when the matter comes before the board on Thursday.

She says she doesn’t know yet how other directors feel about it.

“I’ve had residents express concern about it, but we have no jurisdiction to enforce any laws. I don’t like it the way it is, but we also have a responsibility to taxpayers. I’m hopeful there will be some collaboration from the board to resolve the issue,” she says.

Regional district staff have recommended giving the band a break and charging only basic fees — roughly a third of costs. A decision is expected Thursday. 

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