My Commitment to Our Community

I have been in White Rock since 2010 because I believed that this White Rock would be a great small town community to raise my  family.  Since 2012, I have helped various community organizations by donating my time and energy to help community groups get the word out by creating websites, Facebook pages, and twitter accounts for them. As I learned more about the issues, I created my own community pages to help educate the public, and learn from them by reading their comments and answering their questions.

I have spoken at Council Meetings and Public Hearings dozens of times. I have reminded Council that their Fiduciary Duty is to act for the benefit of residents and local businesses, not out of town developers and certainly not themselves. I have raised concerns about approving new towers without sufficient infrastructure or public support. I have raised questions about water quality and how increased development is making housing less affordable and pushing long time residents out of their own city.

I have watched as the Mayor bullied residents, cut off their mic, called in the RCMP to intimidate residents for stating their opinions during public hearings, and I have watch this council approve developments where 98% of White Rock residents who spoke, including a former Mayor and a former councillor, all objected to the project.

I love White Rock, but it has changed far too much over the last four years. This change has not been positive, and it is driven entirely by greed. I worry that excess development is destroying our city, that need for better infrastructure is being ignored, that our water is unsafe to drink with excessive levels of arsenic, manganese, lead, and glyphosate.

I believe our  beautiful city is being mismanaged and exploited, having gone from virtually debt free four years ago to now being over $30M in debt. Clearly all this development, and all the taxpayer money that goes into subsidizing developers, is not helping to reduce our taxes, but are increasing them.

Something in White Rock stinks, and it is not just the water! By voting smart, we can elect a council that listens to residents, local businesses, and responsible developers to create a positive long term vision for White Rock that works for everyone, not just a few. With the right vision, White Rock has all the natural beauty to become BC’s next Carmel, Cannon Beach, and Steveston all rolled into one. Can we fix this? Together, YES WE CAN!

Here are some of the websites that I run, or that I support within our community.

NoMoreHighRisesInWhiteRock on Facebook since 2012

  • Providing the community updates on what our Mayor and City Council are doing, both the good and the bad, and calling out their lies when they do. This site is concerned with the excess development that is destroying our community, and driving out local businesses, and about the lack of clean safe drinking water in White Rock, and that we do not have enough water to fight a large fire.

White Rock Safe Water Alliance on Facebook and website since 2015

  • Providing the community with specific information about water quality issues in White Rock, and the health impacts of our water’s excessive levels of arsenic, manganese, lead, and gyphosate, much of which comes directly from our wells that draw from the Sunnyside Aquifer that is being contaminated by run-off from local blueberry farms (pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers) and natural occurring heavy metals. Fraser Health recommended in 2013 that White Rock stop using its wells, and connect up to Safe and Clean Metro Vancouver water. Mayor and Council instead decided to keep using our well water because it was a “cash cow”. Since then, water rates have doubled, and they have spent over $25M on water treatment that has yet to improve our water. Meanwhile there are six valves along North Bluff that connect us to Metro Vancouver water. We could have safe and clean drinking water today simply by turning on those six valves. Vote for Scott, and I will make that happen because providing safe and clean drinking water is a city’s job #1.

NoCasinoSurrey website and No Casino in South Surrey on Facebook since 2011

  • When I learned from Terry McNiece that there was a large Casino being planned for South Surrey, I volunteered to help the group NoCasinoSurrey by becoming their official Geek-in-Charge of all their social media including the website, facebook page, and twitter accounts. I volunteering over 300 hours of my time, to run their social media campaign. Being a University PhD student at the time, I lent my research skills to the group, and combined with three other brilliant members of the group, we created a 47 page report to council on the effects of gambling on society, on personal health, and on the local economy. We presented our findings to Surrey Mayor Diane Watts in 2013, and to our delight we successfully convinced Council to reject the proposed casino.

City Council approves adding Chloramine to your drinking water, ignoring health and environmental impacts

The City’s presentation on Chloramine isn’t science, its Fake News and political spin at its worst, because it adversely impacts our health and the health of our beach’s marine life while trying to falsely paint this toxic plan as a positive step.

The way to get rid of the brown muddy water is not to hide it with Chloramine, that is known to cause toxic health problems with humans (due to leaching lead from older pipes), and known to be deadly to marine life since Chloramine does not dissipate like chlorine does (Surrey tried Chloramine several years ago, and stopped once it killed all the salmon fry in the nearby creeks).

Don’t be fooled by someone telling you that it is safe to add more Chloramine to your drinking water because trace amounts of chloramine already exist in your water. That’s not science, that’s Fake News!

Blood Components - Science. It reduces the stupid

The adverse effects of chloramine that the city failed to mention in its presentation:
a) leaches lead from city and domestic plumbing;
b) destroys rubber and plastic plumbing elements (gaskets,
toilet flappers, etc.);
c) corrodes copper pipes, joints and tanks, causing leaks within
walls and floors;
d) showers burns the skin of those with sensitivities;
e) causes respiratory problems;
f) shower vapor causes anemia and other blood disorders;
g) adversely affects the immune systems of the sick and elderly;
h) has been found to cause leukemia;
i) is harmful to babies of pregnant women;
j) cannot be used mixing infant formula;
k) has affected thousand of children’s brains across the world;
l) effects on human health have not been adequately researched;
m) effects on city and household distribution systems have not
been adequately researched
n) kills plants and insects and degrades soil;
o) kills fish and other marine life;
p) is identified by Health Canada and World Health Organization
as a significant risk compared to chlorine;
q) cannot be removed by retail filter products;
r) removal requires an special and expensive special whole-house
filtration system; costing thousands of dollars
s) is neither required nor preferred by Fraser Health.

You can read more at the White Rock Safe Water Alliance’s website here

Chloramine in our Drinking Water?

White Rock’s Mayor and Council have heard that people are upset because of all the brown water coming out of our taps since last December.


So rather than fixing the root causes, City Hall wants to add Chloramine into your drinking water to eliminate the brown color. Chloramine is deadly to marine life and is known to leach lead out of pipes in older homes. Your drinking water will be clear, but possibly with increased lead levels. Nice plan Council!

This is a poorly thought out and potentially harmful plan!
The City Council tried to approve adding Chloramine last year, but later promised that they wouldn’t, thanks to the White Rock Safe Water Alliance and other concerned citizens who raised the red flags in the media!

Come to Monday’s Council meeting at 7 pm at the City Hall 15322 Buena Vista Ave, and let the Council know you think this plan stinks!

In January of 2016 because of huge protests and concerns of the citizens, the Mayor and Council voted unanimously to not use chloramine in the water system. Now with no notice and no consulting of the public they are already doing it and plan to increase the amounts. Read tomorrow’s Council agenda: it says that they are doing this for aesthetics purposes! What about the impact to your health? Many believe that Council is only doing this only because the muddy water might harm their election chances in 2018. Long term health impacts won’t show up until after the election, much like the details regarding the EPCOR purchase deal itself! That’s not right!

The muddy brown water problem seems to be related to the city adding Chlorine without proper preparation. But then, they have only been told by Fraser Health to do this since 2011. Unless we are talking about building another Tower, this council does not move very fast!

Adding Chlorine causes the manganese to precipitate out of solution, thus the brown color. This is an excellent way to eliminate much of the manganese, and it used by many cities. After treating with Chlorine (which is safe for humans and marine life), most cities who use it, filter out the manganese precipitate at the source before pumping it to homes. In White Rock, they have not bothered with the filtration step. Now to avoid complaints, they are planning to switch to Chloramine, which is not proven safe, can cause lead to leach out of older pipes into drinking water, and is known to kill marine life. Not a great plan!

If Council really cared about your health, White Rock would have been connected to clean and safe Vancouver City water years ago. Instead we continue to spend millions on wells laced with arsenic and manganese. I think that stinks. What do you think?

Email your comments to:
wbaldwin@whiterockcity.ca ;
hfathers@whiterockcity.ca, dchesney@whiterockcity.ca, mknight@whiterockcity.ca, blawrence@whiterockcity.ca; gmeyer@whiterockcity.ca; lsinclair@whiterockcity.ca; dbottrill@whiterockcity.ca, GStLouis@whiterockcity.ca; NoMoreHighRisesInWhiteRock@gmail.com

The use of Chloramine and the Potential for Damage to Aquatic Life

LCWS_Logo
White Rock City Hall
15322 Buena Vista Ave,
White Rock, BC V4B 1Y6
January 5, 2016

Mayor: Wayne Baldwin and Council

Re: The use of Chloramine and the Potential for Damage to Aquatic Life

As you may know, on October 17, 1989 and July 9, 1990 there occurred two breaks in Surrey water mains that dumped chloramine-laced water into the Fergus Creek, which is a sub catchment of the Little Campbell River (LCR). The extreme damage to fish and benthic invertebrates officially took almost a decade for recovery but we know some damage was permanent. In fact it is only with huge recent investments by the City of Surrey, the Department of Highways and local volunteer organizations that Fergus Creek is what it is today. Some White Rock storm water flows into the LCR, some of it via Fergus Creek.

These events were a huge wake-up call. It was because of the above-mentioned spills that the Greater Vancouver Regional District followed up on this disaster by conducting extensive public consultation and then deciding on Chlorine over Chloramine for the entire Lower Mainland. Our members have seen government at all levels deal with scheduled and unscheduled pollution and have witnessed many types of failure. We recently watched the aftermath of an accident-damaged fuel tank on a truck that had poured hundreds of gallons of diesel directly into the main stem of the Little Campbell River. Firefighters and Ministry of Environment responders showed themselves hopelessly ill prepared for such an accident with inadequate oil absorption supplies. Nobody wants these kinds of disasters to fish bearing streams and while diesel fuel is toxic, some of it will evaporate but chloramine will not.

An issue unique to White Rock is the non-point pollution aspect of chloramine. It’s common knowledge that many of the strata units in White Rock contain dedicated car washes within their concrete parkades. All water from this type of activity plus power washing of parkade slabs goes directly to the ocean through storm drains. On top of that, on-street car washing, pressure washing and a portion of the at home and strata irrigation garden watering is sent directly by storm drains to the Semiahmoo Bay. Then there are city owned automatic sprinklers especially along the waterfront that suffer breakages from time to time.
Based on many years of combined watershed experience we know that very little of the water involved in the cleaning of water mains, accidental breakage of water mains, and admittedly the rare event of firefighting will ever be effectively treated to neutralize the chloramine in the water. It is a fact that chloramine run-off from water hydrants or broken mains that enter storm drains, streams, and rivers, endangers the lives of fish, amphibians, water invertebrates, and other sensitive marine animals.

There is a significant amount of evidence that identifies “vacated” and “dead” zones in marine areas adjacent to inhabited areas that use chloramine. Of course people will say that’s correlation not causation, as no one will underwrite the necessary science. The data gaps are still huge, but the people that know those areas still know what they know and chloramine is suspect.

Chloramine, which is an extremely persistent compound, is a dangerous substance in water and has been locally proven to destroy fish and benthic organisms in rivers and streams and has the potential to destroy sea life close to the ocean outfalls in Semiahmoo Bay.

The Semiahmoo First Nations once relied on the abundance of sea life in Semiahmoo Bay but over the years point and non-point pollution reduced the tens of thousands of fish available to them to just a few hundred. The abundant clams and other molluscs, which were once available all year around, were polluted too. Even the crab fishing has been diminished and here we have the City of White Rock wanting to pollute the ocean with another toxic pollutant.

The Canadian EPA ruled chloramine “toxic” as defined in Section 64 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, as a result of a study assessing the impact of chloraminated water discharges entering the environment, particularly on fish.

Research states that chloramine must be filtered out before it reaches bodies of water. Does White Rock really have a tested, comprehensive plan to do this and will there be a surcharge for Chloramine contaminated sewage being sent to the wastewater treatment plants in Metro before being dumped into the Gulf of Georgia?

Will you be engaging and consulting in a comprehensive review on this issue of Chloramine in the drinking water like the GVRD in the early 1990’s?

Please know that we are completely opposed to chloramine being used in White Rock water and will advocate in every possible venue against it.

There was a time when the citizens of White Rock were proud and boasted of their pure drinking water and people from miles around would come and drink the water and remark on how wonderful and different the water tasted right from the tap. It was not unusual for visitors to take jugs of water home. We understand there is a complex and changing regulatory environment. We also believe that introducing chloramine into this once pristine water supply has the potential for causing many unintended consequences.

Respectfully,
Phillip Milligan
President
Little Campbell Watershed Society
1284-184th Street, Surrey, BC V3Z 9R9

c.c. Rebecca Reid, Regional Director, Fisheries Management, DFO
c.c. Bruce Reid, Regional Oceans Manager, DFO
c.c. City of Surrey Dept. of Environment and Drainage
c.c. Semiahmoo First Nation
c.c. Drayton Harbor Shellfish Protection District
c.c. Friends of Semiahmoo Bay
c.c. Surrey Environmental Partners