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Lillooet Landfill to reopen after 'potential chemical exposure'

A worker onsite was brought to hospital with chemical exposure symptoms
Lillooet Landfill & Recycling Centre

Lillooet Landfill is to reopen Wednesday, May 29 at 11 a.m. after a potential chemical exposure forced it to close over the weekend.

The dump was closed on Friday, May 24 at approximately 4:30 p.m. after a punctured container of an unknown substance was dropped iat the landfill. Locals were urged to avoid the area. One of the landfill’s operators experienced symptoms consistent with chemical exposure, according to a press release from the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD).

The member of staff was taken to hospital for observation. They were later discharged.

Lillooet Fire Department and an Environmental Response Team were deployed to the scene. A hazmat team removed all the hazardous waste illegally brought to the landfill. On Monday, May 27, staff accompanied an industrial hygienist to the landfill for air-quality monitoring. The specialist later gave the green light for a safe reopening.

The SLRD reminds people of the importance of not dumping hazardous waste at local landfills.

“This serves as an important reminder of the unintended consequences caused by the dumping of hazardous waste at the landfill, which can pose a safety risk to both landfill staff and the general public,” they wrote. “It is important to remind everyone that Lillooet Landfill does not accept Hazardous Waste. If the public is unsure of how to dispose of materials, they can call the SLRD at 604-894-6371 or email at [email protected].”

Officials assured the public the area is now safe in a Facebook post. They also dispelled rumours that were circulating via social media.

“We understand there is misinformation circulating on social media regarding the Lillooet Landfill, including photos of bags and barrels on site,” they wrote. “The SLRD would like to take this opportunity to clarify the following:

• Asbestos is accepted as per the existing landfill permit and all related regulations. The machine operator is qualified to handle asbestos, as per WorkSafe BC requirements. Asbestos is accepted in 6mm double bags, as per the requirements.

• Barrels on site were tested by a Qualified Professional and were permitted, as recommended by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, to be used as soil cover.

• Hazardous waste is not permitted, and not accepted, at the Lillooet Landfill.”



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