June 25, 2009 19:53 ET

Nlaka'pamux Nation Responds to Review of Cache Creek Landfill

Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council Responds to Third Party Review of Cache Creek Landfill

Attention: Assignment Editor, Environment Editor, Health/Medical Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor VANCOUVER, BC, PRESS RELEASE--(Marketwire - June 25, 2009) - The Nlaka'pamux Nation Tribal Council ("NNTC") responded today to the recent release of the Third Party Review of the Cache Creek Landfill commissioned by the Province of British Columbia (the "Review").

The Cache Creek Landfill is located southwest of the Village of Cache Creek, approximately 5 kilometres northwest of the Town of Ashcroft, and 330 kilometres northeast of Greater Vancouver, in an area of significant cultural value to the Nlaka'pamux Nation (the "Nation"). The landfill receives up to 500,000 tonnes of municipal waste per year from Metro Vancouver, and is scheduled to reach capacity in late 2009/early 2010.

Chief Robert Pasco, chair of the NNTC and chief of the Oregon Jack Creek Indian Band, on behalf of NNTC member communities, first expressed concern about the objectivity of portions of the Review and the process followed by the Province:

"The NNTC has grave concerns about the objectivity of portions of this Report, which appear to downplay certain concerns and minimize key findings in the Review itself. Our concerns are exacerbated by the process followed by the Province. We did not even receive a copy of the report until 24 hours after its initial "presentation" and the distribution of a press release by the operator of the landfill. In fact, our concerns arose over a month ago when the Province advised us in an e-mail as to what we should expect from the results of this so-called "third party" review:
"We strongly believe that immediate release of the AMEC findings are critical to re-establishing community confidence in government's collective ability to regulate and ensure health and environmental protection."

Chief Pasco added that, notwithstanding the interpretation put on the Report by the landfill operator, the Review in fact confirms the NNTC's long held position with respect to the landfill:

"While perhaps difficult to ascertain from the Report's overall conclusions, and certainly from the press release immediately issued by Wastech, the Report in fact confirms what the NNTC has been saying for many years now; namely, that the Cache Creek landfill is under-engineered by modern day standards, and is already producing leachate which is impacting local groundwater. We agree with the Review insofar as it confirms the need for further analysis and study as to what those impacts will be as the landfill ages and the amount of escaping leachate increases. As far we are concerned, this is only the very tip of the iceberg, and nothing in this Review contradicts our view that this ticking time bomb will, if left unaddressed, be an environmental and health disaster for our people in the years ahead."

The NNTC will continue to pursue its lawsuit against the Province to be fully and properly included in the environmental assessment process around the proposed extension to the Cache Creek Landfill. The NNTC will also continue to encourage Metro Vancouver to abide by its January 2008 resolution to pursue an enlightened waste-to-energy solution for its waste problems, and abandon any plans to visit those problems on the Nation and its people through the continued use of the Cache Creek Landfill. IN: ENVIRONMENT, HEALTH, POLITICS, OTHER

Contact Information

  • Chief Robert Pasco, Chair, Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council
    Primary Phone: 250-371-0775
    Secondary Phone: 250-453-9098