After three weeks of canvassing, a group of Brookswood residents have submitted 1,291 signatures on a “protect our water” petition to the Township of Langley.
The petition, which asks for zero emissions at South Surrey’s Campbell Heights business park, was presented to council by Marilyn Henderson and Murray McFadden on May 29.
The signatories are concerned that if the companies Ebco and Weir are granted air quality permits from Metro Vancouver to discharge contaminants at their Campbell Heights facilities, they could pollute the Brookswood aquifer.
Henderson said the Township must “take a proactive stance” and work together with the City of Surrey and Metro Vancouver.
“We would hope that Surrey will be respectful of Langley’s water concerns, and address any negative impacts on Langley as Surrey continues to move forward with their business park,” she said.
McFadden added that dealing with the multi-jurisdictional issue reminds him of the Ghostbusters theme song. “Who are you going to call to figure this out? Because there’s just a whole bunch of people involved,” he said.
Several councillors suggested that the group send a copy of their petition and research to the City of Surrey, Metro Vancouver and Fraser Health.
“I know the Township has spent a lot of time and a lot of resources doing a lot of due diligence to study our aquifers and so to me this is troubling that we are just on the precipice, on the other side of where these activities are taking place, and that we lack … as many jurisdictional options as we would like.
“But I do believe that this matter is being more seriously considered at other levels of government, including Metro,” said Coun. Petrina Arnason.
“All members of council are concerned about our water quality and our air quality,” said Mayor Jack Froese.
“One thing that, as a region, we’ve done is, because air moves, we rely on Metro Vancouver to manage that and to regulate it.
“As a Township, and as a municipality, we are doing what we can to ensure that they are aware of our concerns, and yet we don’t have any jurisdiction to regulate or to control that at this point.”