March 20, 2009 15:51 ET

Nlaka'pamux Nation Files Legal Challenge over Cache Creek Landfill

Nlaka'pamux Nation Tribal Council Files Legal Challenge over Environmental Assessment of Cache Creek Landfill Extension Project

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, Environment Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor CACHE CREEK, BC, PRESS RELEASE--(Marketwire - March 20, 2009) - The Nlaka'pamux Nation Tribal Council ("NNTC") is today filing a legal challenge to the Province's decision to exclude the Nlaka'pamux Nation from the environmental assessment of the Cache Creek Landfill Extension project.

The project involves the extension of the existing Cache Creek Landfill, 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 spiritual and economic importance to the Nation. The existing landfill receives up to 500,000 tonnes of municipal waste per year from Metro Vancouver, and is scheduled to reach capacity in late 2009.

Chief Robert Pasco, chair of the NNTC and chief of the Oregon Jack Creek Indian Band, is dismayed by the failure of the Environmental Assessment Office to even talk to the NNTC:

"The NNTC has long been telling Metro Vancouver and the Province that a solution needs to be found to Metro Vancouver's waste problems. After many years of ignoring us, the Nation was finally included in a meaningful process to find real, long-terms solutions to the problem. Now, without explanation, we appear to have returned to the dark ages where the EAO is refusing to even consult with the Nation, in stark contrast to the respect and recognition recently talked about by the Premier and his Cabinet. We have no choice but to proceed to Court, although we maintain that a long term solution can only be obtained through good faith. government to government negotiations. "

Chief Pasco added that the Nlaka'pamux Nation has very real concerns with the proposed extension project:

"The NNTC recently commissioned a study of the existing landfill by Dr Michael Easton of International EcoGen Inc., which revealed evidence that the landfill is leaking potentially toxic leachate, and releases air pollution that may be impacting a variety of plants and animals upon which our people depend. We are very concerned about the proposed use of a bioreactor in the extension project, which may well create further pollution problems, and about the adequacy of baseline monitoring for the project. Many of our communities along the Fraser Canyon Highway are also deeply concerned about the effects of increased garbage truck traffic along the route from Vancouver to the landfill".

The NNTC is hopeful that its case can be argued in the British Columbia Supreme Court in a timely manner and that meaningful, good faith consultation can then begin, consistent with the New Relationship between the BC Government and First Nations. IN: ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, POLITICS, OTHER

Contact Information

  • Chief Bob Pasco, Chairman, Nlaka'pamux Nation Tribal Council
    Primary Phone: 250-371-0775