Town of Virden sues environmental services company claiming soil, groundwater put at risk
Virden says Hazco Environmental Services left industrial waste material on non-lined ground
The Town of Virden is suing an environmental services company claiming the community's soil and groundwater were put at risk.
In a statement of claim filed at Manitoba's Court of Queen's Bench last week, the town said Hazco Environmental Services, operated by Tervita Corporation of Calgary, didn't install a retention berm properly at their waste treatment and disposal facility, leaving the soil at risk.
The town also claimed that Hazco Environmental Services employees let industrial waste material go onto non-lined ground, violating the facility's Environment Act licence.
None of the statements has been proven in court. Hazco Environmental Services have 40 days to file a statement of defence.
According to Virden, the town entered into a contract with the company to operate their industrial waste treatment and disposal facility, located north of Virden, in November, 2006.
The contract meant the company would be involved in continuous development of the facility, the statement said. That involved constructing "cells," containing a compacted clay liner overlaid with a high-density polyethylene liner which would be filled with non-hazardous industrial waste.
The first cell was constructed in 2007 and work began on the second one in 2010. While working on the second cell, the town's lawsuit alleges that a retention berm for the first cell was not replaced properly after being removed for construction purposes.
The statement says that resulted in leachate, a liquid that drains from a landfill, going onto non-lined ground, a violation of the facility's Environment Act licence that caused a risk of soil and groundwater contamination.
It also says that while Hazco operated the facility from August, 2010 to 2013, the company's employees placed industrial waste materials on the non-lined ground, which was also a significant risk for soil and groundwater.
The town discovered the problems in 2014 and the community had to pay for an environmental investigation and repairs. It is asking for $140,000 in damages.
A Tervita Corporation spokesperson said they have received the claim and are in the process of reviewing it, therefore are unable to provide a statement.
Virden is located 300 kilometres west of Winnipeg.