A major prosecution was launched today against the City of Vancouver. Following the news from two weeks ago that Victoria would be required to end the practice of dumping raw sewage into the ocean, Sierra Legal has launched a lawsuit against the Greater Vancouver Regional District and the Province of BC for their failure to address toxic pollution from the Lions Gate sewage treatment plant.
The lawsuit seeks to force the GVRD into implementing secondary sewage treatment at both its Lions Gate plant in West Vancouver and the Iona plant in Richmond. Currently, those facilities are limited to primary treatment, which only removes a fraction of the suspended solids and toxic chemicals from the sewage while failing to adequately treat for heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants. Secondary treatment would remove 90% of pollutants including mercury and PCBs.
“My investigation revealed that Lions Gate sewage frequently fails scientific tests for fish toxicity used under the Fisheries Act" said Doug Chapman, lead investigator for Sierra Legal, "the GVRD and the Province are aware of this, and have received serious warnings from the federal government, yet continue to permit this pollution.”
For the prosecution to proceed, the charge must be confirmed before a Provincial Court Judge. That hearing is expected to occur in the coming within the next few weeks.