MLA Linda Larson says Marron Valley in the Boundary Similkameen isn’t the right spot for a new regional organics composting facility. File photo

Boundary-Similkameen MLA objects to composting facility location

MLA Linda Larson has come out hard against the region possibly locating an organics facility in Marron Valley.

Larson, who represents Boundary-Similkameen, including Marron Valley, stated her objections to the possible organics facility location at a Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen meeting last week.

Larson, along with Penticton MLA Dan Ashton, spoke to the board about issues related to things going on with the government and how things might move forward.

During the discussion, Larson emphatically said she was not in favour the of the site and that she’d received many calls from concerned residents about the site.

“I am on record as being against the facility at its possible location in Marron Valley,” she said to directors.

Ashton did not state his opinion on the shortlisted sites being explored but did say his office had been receiving calls.

The Regional District has been looking into developing an organics compost facility for the last seven years. The site would take in food, yard waste as well as waste from sewage treatment facilities within the region to treat and then be used at the Campbell Mountain Landfill as a bio cover, reducing methane gas emissions.

The regional district has said by having an organics compost facility, close to $25 million can be saved during the life of the landfill and its life lengthened substantially.

A few months ago a short list of possible sites was released to the public which included the two preferred sites: Marron Valley just off Highway 3A between Twin Lakes and Kaleden, and the Summerland Landfill.

“Obviously it is in my riding and I’ve been contacted by the residents and I am representing them. It’s fairly simple. They are very firm that this is not the right location,” Larson said.

Larson admitted she’d never been to the proposed site on Marron Valley Road but said she could think of several other sites where the organics facility could be built and not have any impact on humans.

She did not list those sites during the interview with the Keremeos Review.

Larson was clear she supports composting and understands the advantages to the landfill and taxpayers by separating the organics, but she could not support the Marron Valley location.

“To me, it doesn’t matter if it’s one person or 100 people that are impacted. If it affects someone’s land value or quality of life I am not going to support that,” she said.

Karla Kozakevich, chair of the RDOS said she applauded her provincial counterpart for voicing her opinion but wondered what information she had based it on.

“She needs to voice her opinion for her constituents. I understand that. It’s not for me to question,” Kozakevich said.

“What we didn’t get into today was why she was opposed and how much she had explored the issue. Had she visited the site or is she basing it on those opposed? What is she basing this on, public emotion?”

Kozakevich said at this point in the process she had not yet visited the Marron Valley site but would be encouraging all directors to visit the shortlisted sites before decisions were made.

The RDOS is continuing to receive comments and information from the public regarding the site to be included in a presentation to directors later this month.