Friends of Hazelmere and Campbell Valley spokesmen David Anderson (right) and Brian Coote survey the Little Campbell River from 16 Avenue Friday

Friends of Hazelmere and Campbell Valley spokesmen David Anderson (right) and Brian Coote survey the Little Campbell River from 16 Avenue Friday

South Surrey diesel spill sparks more truck-park criticism

South Surrey truck-park proponents assure development would only proceed once all concerns are addressed.

A collision last week on 16 Avenue involving two dump trucks and a minivan highlights concerns around a truck-parking facility proposed for the area, residents say.

“That they’re even considering this is an outrage to us,” said Brian Coote, spokesman for the newly formed Friends of Hazelmere and Campbell Valley. “There’s just so many reasons that this is the wrong site.”

Crash Oct. 28The crash occurred around 8 a.m. last Wednesday, when the dump trucks, travelling in opposite directions east of 192, sideswiped each other. The impact caused one to swerve into the oncoming lane and hit a minivan.

While police said injuries weren’t serious, residents say the diesel that spilled from one of the truck’s ruptured tanks into the nearby Little Campbell River is.

“It was smashed and it was empty,” Phillip Milligan, president of the Little Campbell Watershed Society, said of the 380-litre tank.

Milligan didn’t know how much fuel was actually in the tank at the time of the collision, however, “certainly, a lot of it drained right down the hill and into the river.”

However, according to City of Surrey officials, a work crew responded to the scene only for fuel on the road.

“They don’t think anything made it into the river,” spokesman Oliver Lum said Thursday.

Ministry of Environment officials confirmed this week that they were not asked to investigate a spill at the site.

But David Anderson, an FHCV member and director of A Rocha’s Brooksdale Environmental Centre – located directly across from the proposed truck park – said he saw the fuel flow into the waterway firsthand.

“I stood on the bridge and watched diesel trickling down… straight into the Little Campbell,” he said. “A little more rain and (spawning salmon) will be all through here.”

Friday afternoon, a sheen was still evident along the river’s edge. “You can still smell the diesel,” Coote said.

The potential for future pollution of the environmentally sensitive area – under which lies much of the Brookswood aquifer, which supplies water to thousands of rural South Surrey and Langley residents – is a key reason why FHCV and the LCWS are opposed to the proposed truck park. Other concerns include the loss of a critical wildlife corridor, safety along already-busy thoroughfare, and the impact to residents of three residential-care facilities in the area.

However, Parm Garcha, one of the project’s proponents, said every effort is being made to address concerns on all sides – for the trucking industry, residents and environment.

If that doesn’t happen, “we will not proceed,” Garcha told Peace Arch News Tuesday.

Garcha – a Surrey resident for more than 20 years – said proponents have met with local residents and stewardship groups; environmental and hydro-geological reports have been commissioned; and consultants have assured the habitat can be protected.

“We are making sure we address each and every concern to the fullest.”

Garcha described environmental concerns as “valid” but said that any flaw or accident could be “mitigated or controlled 100 per cent.” He cited bioswales as among “engineering marvels” planned to prevent contaminants from entering the Little Campbell. As well, 100-metre setbacks from the river would be enhanced for wildlife.

Proximity to the border will reduce the congestion, pollution and damage caused by trucks that are on the city’s roads more than necessary due to the current lack of truck parking, he added.

And while Anderson and Coote said considerable concern remains with council’s Sept. 14 decision to remove the subject 77 acres from the Local Area Plan process to fast-track the development, Garcha said truck parking in Surrey needs to be addressed quickly.

“Trucks have been a problem in Surrey for at least 10 or 12 years,” he said. “We’re trying to balance it for the truckers that nobody wants. They’re also taxpayers, they’re also people that are providing goods… These trucks can be safely put in.”

The assurances have done little to quell the concern of Semiahmoo Fish & Game Club members, who have a 59-year history of restoring the Little Campbell. The 1284 184 St. hatchery is located just 2.4 km downstream of the proposed facility.

Club president Bob Donnelly said Monday that letters have been sent to mayor and council outlining their concerns.

In a video created to raise awareness of the concern, Donnelly warns that any leak of chemicals and other contaminants into the river “would destroy all fish life in the river regardless of season.”

“We’re not convinced that any amount of assurances or engineered safety approaches would effectively protect this river,” he states. “At some point in the future, those will fail.”

The issue also came up at the Langley Township council Monday, in the form of a motion to formally oppose the project, however council voted that it was too soon to take such a position.

Township Mayor Jack Froese said Surrey promised to keep Langley in the loop, and that regulatory hurdles may stop the development: “They (project proponents) have a long road to go.”

– with files from Dan Ferguson

 

Just Posted

Councillor Doug Elford. (File photo: Amy Reid)
Elford to join Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society as a director

Fellow Safe Surrey Coalition Councillors Laurie Guerra, Mandeep Nagra and Allison Patton will be re-appointed to the board

A cyclist stops traffic to allow a gaggle of geese cross the road. (Tino Fluckiger photo)
White Rock man asks motorists to be mindful of wildlife after close call

Impatient motorists drives into oncoming traffic

Big Splash water park is located in Tsawwassen. (submitted photo)
Big Splash reopens Canada Day with changes to keep the water park ‘safe for everyone’

Executive Hotels & Resorts has owned and operated the attraction since 2017

Elgin Park Secondary students rally for climate change outside of their South Surrey in 2019. (Nick Greenizan photo)
City of Surrey set to host online climate-action panel

June 23 Zoom event to include speakers, question-and-answer period

(Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey council moves to reduce parking along rapid transit corridors

This also targets rental housing developments in Rapid Transit Areas

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact they recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says re-opening B.C.’s border to the U.S. ‘is not in our best interest’ right now. (B.C. Government photo)
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry (B.C. Government photo)
B.C. records 113 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 4 deaths

Vaccination of young people rising quickly, near 75 per cent

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S President Joe Biden shake hands during their meeting at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
Biden says meeting with Putin not a ‘kumbaya moment’

But U.S. president asserted Russian leader is interested in improved relations, averting a Cold War

Vancouver Giants will return to the ice on Oct. 8, hosting the Prince George Cougars at Langley Events Centre. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Vancouver Giants will renew division rivalry with Cougars when season resumes in October

First game on Langley Events Centre home ice since February of last year

Most Read