Burnaby garbage incinerator operator sued over pollution concerns

The Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District is suing Maxxam Analytics International Corp. and Covanta Burnaby Renewable Energy ULC for Supposedly failing to properly Examine fly ash samples in the district’s waste-to-energy facility in Burnaby.

Non-hazardous fly ash is accepted and disposed of in the Cache Creek landfill, the claim states. Samples analyzed by Maxxam in the summer and autumn in 2012, however, came back indicating high levels of cadmium that exceeded acceptable levels permitted for disposal in the landfill.

The results, the district claims,”called into question the power of the treatment of fly ash” at the center, forcing the plaintiff to incur charges by requiring greater sampling and testing, investigating the origin of the high cadmium levels and locating another disposal site for fly ash in Alberta. After the Ministry of Environment hit on the district using an advisory letter of non-compliance, the plaintiff hired”consultants, experts and legal counsel” to assist investigate.

An audit of Maxxam’s laboratory found that it did not follow appropriate methods, called the”Toxic Characteristic Leaching Procedure” and the”United States Environmental Protection Agency Method 1311″ to test the fly ash, according to the lawsuit. The Ministry of Environment’s evaluation found Maxxam’s results unreliable because of improper testing procedures and also discovered that”Covanta’s quality control and quality assurance protocols in the WTEF [Waste-to-Energy Facility] were not sufficiently developed to determine if leachability was happening or if a problem with the treated fly ash or the treatment system was happening,” the claim states. Additionally, the ministry discovered that Covanta could not readily”provide assurance that the treated fly ash fulfilled the toxic waste requirements under the Hazardous Waste Regulation.”

The district expects damages for negligence, misrepresentation, negligent operation of a service and breach of contract. The allegations have not been proven in court and the defendants hadn’t filed responses to the promise by press time.

by: http://prod-admin1.glacier.atex.cniweb.net:8080/preview/www/2.2551/2.2759/2.2742/1.1493460#