North Cowichan appealed the government’s decision to issue a permit to Coast Environmental to increase its composting capacity at its Chemainus facility. (File photo)

Smells like no spirit of cooperation

Years of inaction leave Chemainus plant situation at square one

Hardly a day goes by without someone posting on Facebook or conversing with others about the stench emanating from Coast Environmental’s operations on the Trans Canada Highway.

Some days are worse than others depending where you live, but the problem certainly isn’t going away because nothing’s been done to solve it.

Newcomers to the area are astounded by the smell. Others who’ve been here a long time and know all too well about it try to educate the recent arrivals about what’s become an unfortunate Chemainus trademark.

If smells could be confined to the plant, it wouldn’t be an issue. But there are such things as air movement and that can make the odour travel just about anywhere.

It seems nobody studied any science to have this figured out before the business was allowed to set up in its present location. Long story short, the years continue to pass and there still doesn’t seem to be any solution in sight.

A Facebook post last week reinforced just how far we haven’t come over the years. It was a photo from 2011 showing a protest on the Trans Canada Highway involving upset business owners in the Chemainus Industrial Park and residents fed up about dealing with the horrendous smell on a regular basis.

That was eight years ago and we’re no further ahead.

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring’s quote from one of our newspaper articles will probably ring true for some time.

“It’s complicated, with the province responsible for issuing the licence to operate, the CVRD is in charge of regulations and North Cowichan is responsible for land-use issues,” he said.

Too many levels of government, all without the full-ranging power to take strong action. The Ministry of Environment, above the others, has to show some gumption and leadership in handling this.

And the ministry’s approval to increase the processing capacity at Coast certainly isn’t the answer. You’d think the Ministry of Environment would be especially diligent in this day and age of abundant environmental concerns affecting our planet, but apparently not.

Just Posted

North Cowichan considers changes to pot shop criteria

Rules around distance from schools, other cannabis shops, proving problematic

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP reports rise in calls for service

Increase of 4.6 per cent over same time last year

MPs call on fisheries minister to allow sport fishing of marked chinook

MacGregor among those citing coastal communities rely on recreational fishing

DeLong running for Conservatives in Cowichan-Malahat-Langford

One-time Alberta MLA aims for a seat in Ottawa

Chemainus Harvest House still demands attention in summer

Food bank supplies dwindle with diminished donations

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Police ask for help locating missing men last seen in South Surrey

Jeep that Richard Scurr and Ryan Provencher were in has been located unoccupied in Logan Lake: RCMP

Islanders have new cancer screening option with $6.5 M diagnostic suite in Victoria

The Gordon Heys Family PET/CT Suite was unveiled at the BC Cancer Centre-Victoria

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

B.C. Ferries crew member’s medical emergency causes cancellations on Nanaimo route

One sailing from West Vancouver and one sailing from Nanaimo cancelled Monday

Most Read