The truck offloading area and earthwork berm at the site where biosolids are being applied at the Turtle Valley Bison Ranch. (Nikki Schiebel Photo)

First Nations group takes up biosolids protest

Online call to action asks Secwepemc to stand against and stop the dumping of biosolid

  • May. 21, 2019 4:00 p.m.

By Jessica Smith

Kamloops This Week

One blockade has moved out and another has apparently moved into the Turtle Valley, in opposition of a biosolids project.

Turtle Valley resident Connie Seaward said she and a group of protestors — who maintained a road block since April 29, preventing Arrow Transportation from delivering City of Kamloops’ treated sewage sludge to the Turtle Valley Bison Company — left on the weekend as a result of a court injunction that went into effect on Saturday at 12:01 a.m.

“We don’t have anyone in our community that is radical enough to be arrested,” Seaward said. “We made that very clear from the beginning.”

Arrow Transportation sought the injunction after protestors blocked access by the company. Arrow has a contract with the City of Kamloops to deal in the short-term with its sewage sludge. Kamloops has a stockpile in need of depletion after upgrading its sewage-treatment process in recent years, resulting in an increase to biosolids produced.

Witnesses have told KTW, however, that other protestors are now blocking access. It appears a First Nations group is asserting rights in order to protect what it calls “sacred lands.”

An online call to action by Secwepemc People at Sacred Fire is asking Secwepemc in the Turtle Valley to immediately “stand against and stop the dumping of biosolid waste on our sacred lands that threaten the water and all living beings including the people who live in the area.”

Read more: Turtle Valley Bison Ranch owners speak on biosolids controversy

Read more: Court decision allows biosolids trucks to roll into Turtle Valley

Read more: Letter: Biosolids plan poses risk to lake, creeks and river

The May 18 news release notes the court injunction and states Secwepemc are the only ones who can stop the project.

Seaward said she has nothing to do with the latest blockade. Instead, she said, she will be in a Kamloops courtroom on June 3 to present legal evidence about an aquifer she said was overlooked on the bison ranch property. Two professionals will apparently provide their expert opinions. Arrow maintains the aquifer is not impacted by the biosolids project.

KTW reached out to Arrow for an update, but has not yet heard back from the company.


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