The City of Kimberley’s long wait for certificates of compliance from the Ministry of Environment on contaminated lands is nowhere near over, though it has been going on for some 12 years.
While in Victoria last week, Mayor Don McCormick spoke with Ministry of Environment staff, seeking their help in finding out exactly where the process is stalled.
“Four years ago, I thought we may be getting somewhere,” McCormick said. “Now here we are four years later and we are not any further ahead.”
McCormick was talking about certificates for two specific properties, the Marysville bench lands on Jim Ogilvie Way and the old Cominco shops land in Townsite. Until certificates are issued, these lands cannot be freed up for other uses. He also spoke to Ministry staff about the potential for getting certificates for Teck-owned lands on the east side of Jim Ogilvie Way.
“Unfortunately they were not able to shed any light on why there has been such a delay or where the bottle neck is,” McCormick said. “It’s been more than a dozen years and the city has spend well in excess of $100,000. There has been some activity going on but no end in sight. We can’t see the finish line. It’s very discouraging, especially given the lack of available industrial land in Kimberley.”
McCormick said the staff was empathetic but had no concrete answers.
“Standards for compliance have gone up over the past 15 years,” he said, adding that the length of time the city has been waiting for the certificates still makes no sense.
“There can’t have been constant activity towards the end goal over all these years. It makes no sense. Where’s the bottle neck?”