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

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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

Elegant’s 24 and 21 Twin Towers on Oxford Approved by Mayor Baldwin and Council

Great turn out at tonight’s public meeting on the Elegant Twin Tower proposal for Oxford and Thrift: 73 Presenters, about 200+ in attendence, 346 written submissions, with 98% of written submissions by White Rock residents opposed, yet the development was approved by Mayor Baldwin (who had claimed earlier that he opposed it on Nov 23rd) and the Condo-Coalition, with Helen Fathers and David Chesney voting against. Final vote: 5 voted to approve, 2 against.

The City worked past its usual curfew of 1030 PM until just before Midnight letting people speak at the Public Hearing in order to vote on the development tonight, without taking the time to read and understand the written and spoken submissions by White Rock Residents. Then Mayor and Council reconvened their Special Council Meeting at midnight, Grant Meyer made a motion to put Bylaw 2123 (the OCP Amendment) to a vote and it was seconded by Bill Lawrence.  Then the Mayor and Coalition voted in favour with Chesney and Fathers opposed.

Then they started to discuss Bylaw 2056, the Rezoning bylaw. Helen Fathers made a motion to put the vote off to December 14 which was seconded by Dave Chesney. This motion was defeated 5-2 by the Mayor and the Coalition.

The Mayor and Coalition then voted to approve Bylaw 2056 which they did 5-2. There are a few nuts and bolts to thinker with on the Rezoning Bylaw but the Elegant deal is done as matters currently stand.

Elegant's The Oxford - Approved Dec7th

 

The general consensus of the public: The Owners of the Property, the Developers, and their Friends and Family, and Real-Estate Agents all spoke very highly of this project.

The general public spoke also spoke favourably about the design, but questioned the location as being outside the OCP zone, breaking several of Mayor Baldwin’s election promises, and being located too close to the White Rock’s Water Wells and the associated Chlorine Plant.

Citizens begged Council to not approve it at this location. Reasons included possible risk of contamination of our water supply as the building will be about 30 feet from our wells as opposed to the recommended 100 to 200 feet, the likely destruction of the protect trees and the Heron’s nesting site there, risk to the new residents from Chlorine Gas poisoning from the Chlorination Plant located only 20 feet away, plus the location violates the OCP and adds to the already congested Thrift and Oxford traffic problem.

After receiving 346 written submissions and hearing from 73 presenters, the Mayor and Council immediately voted to approve third reading of the project, clearly without any consideration of input presented by the Public, nor with insufficient time to review any of the submissions which were received by 4pm that day. Nice.

Plenty of excellent speakers, but strangely it was not recorded. Why wasn’t this Public Hearing Recorded? All the others have been. Why not this one? Strange.

About 200 unhappy residents were at the meeting tonight to object to the 21 and 24 story towers proposed on tiny little Oxford Street

About 200 unhappy residents were at the meeting tonight with one message that was loud and clear: Stick to the OCP!

Densification provides residents with no benefits, nor does White Rock benefit. It is all about developers making false claims (and there were too many to mention tonight!), and making a dollar while they can.

White Rock is already the 5th most densely populated city in BC, but are taxes remain sky high, our schools are over crowded, wait times at the hospital emergency ward are out of control, our roads are congested, and our policing and fire fighting bills are climbing. All this gets worse as we strive to build up density. What is in it for residents? Nothing.

So why do this White Rock? This land is zoned for Utilities. It is not supposed to have any residential lots on it at all. It was donated by the Goggs family for use as an aquifer. Why rezone it just so EPCOR can sell it off and make $12M? Turn this request down, and White Rock will own this 2.7 acre parcel of land when we purchase the Water Utility from EPCOR later this year.

Why would our Mayor and City Councillors choose any other option than to turn down this rezoning request, and reap a huge benefit for the city of acquiring this land along with the rest of the utility when it buys it?

Email your comments to Chris McBeath of the city planning department at CMcbeath@WhiteRockCity.ca. He would like to receive all comments from the public by this Friday is possible.
Architectural Diagram for 21 and 24 Story Towers - 1454 Oxford Street

Public Information Session for the Proposed 21 and 24 story Towers on EPCOR land at 1454 Oxford Street

Public Meeting on the proposed Twin Towers at 1454 Oxford Street on the EPCOR lands is happening tonight April 9th starting at 5:30pm at First United Church. This is an information session only. Residents and the public will not have an opportunity to speak.

Will the City be “conflicted” in its handling of the approval process for the EPCOR? Will the developer propose something extreme, so we are happy to have our City by the Sea ruined by something smaller later? Should White Rock just say NO so it could buy this land off EPCOR cheap with the rest of the Water Works? Are the answers to all of these questions all YES?!
Architectural Diagram for 21 and 24 Story Towers - 1454 Oxford Street

EPCOR Towers – aka Greedy EPCOR & Developer Insanity!

EPCOR Towers- aka Greedy EPCOR & Developer Insanity!
– by Ross Buchanan. Read the entire article in the White Rock Sun

Here is one for the “only in White Rock” list.

EPCOR the $2 Billion a year utility owned by the City of Edmonton (and the owner of the White Rock water system) has agreed to a deal whereby if their property on Oxford Hill can be rezoned to accommodate two commercial condo towers they will be willing to sell their property. The two towers (21 and 24 storeys) would be constructed on the western portion of the EPCOR land. If approved the rezoning would obviously be a huge cash windfall for EPCOR.

Personally I can’t imagine how any of the White Rock councillors would even consider or vote on this proposal as every one of them is in a position of ethical conflict given that the city is currently in negotiations to acquire EPCOR’s water utility operations in White Rock. In my opinion that fact alone creates an ethical conflict of interest. How can you be negotiating to acquire a company and at the same time consider a very significant rezoning application from the same company that will result in EPCOR reaping windfall profits? Could this be some kind of a side deal that greases the wheels of the negotiations?

Read the rest of this story in the White Rock Sun:
http://whiterocksun.com/index.php?mode=letters
White Rock Sun - Letters withRoss Buchanan jpg

Public Information Meeting for the proposed development of two 21 and 24 story high rise towers, high density development at 1454 Oxford Street (EPCOR Land) Wednesday, April 9th from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM in the United Church at 15385 Semiahmoo Avenue in White Rock. Be there!