` Columbia Journal - Richmond Dioxin Dump
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US Toxic Waste Firm Backs Down on Dioxin Dump

The firm seeking to take advantage of the Liberal government's toxic waste site proposal has backed after lobbying from citizens and ecological groups.

The US-based Ecowaste Industries announced last week it is no longer interested in importing dioxin-contaminated soils into Richmond.

In a joint press conference, representatives from the Richmond chapter of the Council of Canadians and the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation congratulated the firm's bosses on what they say is a responsible decision.

"We welcome the decision by Ecowaste Industries president Stuart Sommerville to cancel the importation of dioxin contaminated soils into Richmond," said SPEC President David Cadman.

Ecowaste President Stuart Sommerville met with local environmental and community activists March 22 to discuss about plan to relocate 8600 tonnes of soil contaminated with pentachlorophenol and dioxin from the operations of the Time Oil Corporation based in Portland, Oregon to Richmond.

Dioxins are considered a human carcinogen in the US, while in BC they are only classified as a contaminant and are subject to less rigorous treatment, which ecologists and public interest groups say is becoming more of an interest to US polluters seeking easier disposal rules for toxic waste.

Despite the misgivings of Richmond City Council, the BC Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection and Environment Canada issued permits allowing the material into BC.

Richmond is now pushing for higher disposal standards to block any further attempts to dump US toxic waste in the city. Meanwhile, SPEC and other groups will lobby both the BC and federal governments not issue any more such permits until higher standards can be adopted.

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