Sewage used as fertilizer sparks B.C. blockade
Protesters set up blockade to stop trucks carrying biosolid fertilizer
A group of concerned residents in the Salmon Valley, near Prince George, is refusing to let a local farmer spread treated stabilized human sewage on his fields.
The residents are blocking city dump trucks carrying biosolids from driving down a frozen gravel road to the farmer's property, where the sewage will be stored and then spread on his fields in May or June.
"That's the last thing we want to do is stand there and stop a trucker from making money, but we have to live out here," said protester Linda Parker. "We have not got a choice, we are being told it's going to come through, or you're going to jail!"
Parker and others are concerned about water contamination and smell.
"I need to know, is it going to seep into the waterways, is it going to be harmful for the environment out here? There's no tests that have been brought to us. We were not brought documents stating 'this is what it does, this is what it's for,' " said Parker.
Tuesday morning RCMP officers told the residents to dismantle their blockade, and Prince George city officials told residents their concerns would be addressed at a city meeting that afternoon.
But afterwards, Parker said, she and others still weren't satisfied.
"They have not said anything to us, they will not give us answers," said Parker.
Andy Angele says residents plan to keep blocking the dump trucks until an independent review is held, looking at the effects of spreading stabilized human sewage on agricultural land.
"The regulations and their own material says there is potential for water contamination from biosolids. They said more than 20 or 30 times in the regulation that there is potential for biosolid problems."
The City of Prince George maintains the use of biosolids on farms is safe, and will continue to work with the concerned residents.