Innergex representatives heard some stern words from regional leaders after two company representatives delivered a project update for the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD). The two representatives left the most recent meeting of the SLRD board with a clear understanding that some members of the board are unhappy with the company.
Director Mo Freitag chastised Innergex for choosing to work on the Upper Lillooet Hydro Project without a Temporary Use Permit (TUP) from the SLRD.
"Why are we hearing from a company that isn't following our guidelines?" Freitag asked the SLRD board at its monthly meeting on Monday, Jan. 27.
In defense of his company, project manager Krys Muniak pointed out that Innergex applied for a TUP earlier but the application was rejected. He said Innergex has a legal opinion indicating the company only needs provincial and federal permits and that a TUP from the SLRD isn't necessary.
"We're happy to work with the SLRD to sort out the permit situation," said Muniak.
The company was encouraged by the SLRD to resubmit its TUP application and pay $750 so the permit can be considered a second time by the SLRD board.
Work on the run-of-river project will continue in the year ahead. The work will include tourism recreation projects proposed by Innergex as part of the project. A hiking trail was built in the fall as part of the construction work.
Liz Scroggins, Innergex's community liaison and project coordinator said the company has given $40,000 to community groups in Pemberton since the company started working on the project.
Sea to Sky Soils added to plan
Jaye-Jay Berggren and Mateo Ocejo have been waiting 18 months to have their soil company formally recognized by the SLRD. The co-owners and operators of Sea to Sky Soils on South Rutherford Creek Road just off Highway 99 got what they've been waiting for when the SLRD board of directors voted to officially recognize the company in the region's waste management plan.
It's good news for his company, Berggren said after the decision was made.
"It does a few things," he said. "It allows the region to increase diversion of organics from the landfill."
It also means Sea to Sky Soils is a viable place to accept waste organic materials in the eyes of the municipal governments within the SLRD.
"What we want to do is provide capacity for the whole region, including Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton," said Berggren.
He noted there's one key difference between his final product compared to what the Whistler Composting facility produces.
"There will be zero biosolids accepted at that facility," Berggren said of his open-window operation near the Rutherford Creek power facility.
Biosolids are a byproduct of sewage treatment and the Whistler Composter mixes biosolids produced in Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton with food and wood waste to create soil. Berggren said the Whistler Composting final product is a high-quality soil used by landscapers. Certified organic farmers can't use Whistler Compost soil because biosolids are used in the soil production.
According to Berggren, the soil from his company is ideal for home gardening and for use in community gardens.
Sea to Sky Soils uses a technology called the Gore Cover System. Berggren said the raw organic material accepted at the Rutherford site is covered with Goretex to reduce odours. The waste material is aerated and watered to speed up the composting process.