The Facts Sharon And Patty Don’t Want You To Know

By Mike Archer. In order that those in the Fraser Valley who value science, facts, research and intelligent discussion of substantive issues can find some solace in the knowledge that their impressions of the Valley’s most famous pseudo-environmentalists – Abbotsford’s Patricia Ross and Chilliwack’s Sharon Gaetz – as political opportunists with nothing much to contribute to the debate about the fictional Fraser Valley ‘airshed,’ new evidence provides clear evidence of the fact that both politicians have missed the point by a country mile.

Material published by the Metro Vancouver on the actual make-up of the pollutants in what politicians refer to as the ‘airshed’ in the Lower Mainland show that, rather than focusing on the commuter-based cities both Gaetz and Ross are building as the primary source of pollutants to our air, the two have been focusing all of their (and the local media’s) attention on the smallest contributor to the problem while ignoring the one they themselves are causing.

“The emissions from the facility are extremely small compared to other emission sources in the Fraser Valley. For instance, in 2013 the facility contributed only three thousandths of a per cent (0.003%) of fine particle emissions to the Fraser Valley. It accounted for 0.9% of the total emissions of NOx, a key smog forming pollutant, and a project under construction to upgrade the emissions controls will reduce that to 0.4% of the regional total by 2015. For trace organic contaminants such as dioxins and furans, the facility’s emissions represent less than one thousandth of a per cent (less than 0.001%) of Fraser Valley airshed totals. In terms of greenhouse gases, the facility emits 0.8% of the total emissions from the Metro Vancouver region.”

Metro Vancouver's research reveals just how big a deal the Waste To Energy Emissions, about which Councillor Patricia Ross and Mayor Sharon Gaetz have made so much political noise about, (seen as the sliver at the top of each pie chart) actually matter, especially when compared with the emissions from vehicles. much of it from the suburban cities Ross and Gaetz are building which require resients to drive to Vancouver in order to find work.

Metro Vancouver’s research reveals just how big a deal the Waste To Energy Emissions, about which Councillor Patricia Ross and Mayor Sharon Gaetz have made so much political noise about, (seen as the sliver at the top of each pie chart) actually matter, especially when compared with the emissions from vehicles. much of it from the suburban cities Ross and Gaetz are building which require resients to drive to Vancouver in order to find work.

We’ve published the scientific research many times before but neither Gaetz nor Ross seems the least bit interested in learning what is actually going on, preferring, it seems to make political hay out of a non-issue in order continue collecting a public pay cheque.

The fact that Gaetz and Ross have participated in producing one of the biggest ecological disasters in BC by allowing the gravel industry to run roughshod over pristine, protected and sensitive environmental areas while approving toxic waste facilities along the Fraser River – both of which will be remembered for thousands of years – pales by comparison with the way both have devoted their public life to creating cities which will destroy the ‘airshed’ and the environment of the Fraser Valley faster and more effectively than any attempt to by the GVRD to reduce the amount of garbage sent to landfills by converting it to energy.

Look at the facts and make up your own mind.


The Research:

Research, Sources and Background:
We did what we could to provide as many useful links for those who want to look into the matter further. Some general research links are provided below as well as the research provided by both sides in this very political debate.

– 2001 Environment Canada Air Quality Study Lower Mainland Airshed

Douw Steyn 
– Douw Steyn
– Funding canceled

Ryley Landfill

Critique of Waste To Energy Proposals:Incinerators – Waste-to-Energy Proposals in the Watershed Sentinel by Joyce Nelson.

Fraser Valley Regional District Research:
– Consolidated FV Management Plan 1998 PDF
– Best Management Practices and emission inventory of agricultural sources in the Lower Fraser Valley
– State of the air Reports
– Dr Ian Mckendry Report-Air Quality in the Fraser Valley
– Particulate Emissions and Health – Prf C. Vyvyan Howarrd

Metro Vancouver Research:
– Solid Waste Planning
– Landfill Evaluation 2008 PDF
– Implementation Matrix PDF
– Solid Waste Management Full Report PDF
– Draft Solid Waste Implementation Plan 2010 PDF

– RWDI Air Inc. (2009) CMAQ Modelling of Possible Solid Waste Management Scenarios.

– Metro Vancouver (2013) 2013 Caring for Air Report

– Metro Vancouver (2013) 2010 Lower Fraser Valley Air Emissions Inventory and Forecast and Backcast.

– Metro Vancouver (2010) Integrated Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan

– AECOM Canada Ltd. (2009) Management of Municipal Solid Waste in Metro Vancouver – A Comparative Analysis of Options for Management of Waste after Recycling.

Join the discussion 9 Comments

  • The Editor says:

    Jeannie Rye Says:
    Ross, Gaetz and Lum have, rather are attempting to manufacture public dissent so they can get voted back into their cushy council and director positions and feed off the public trough. If incineration was as bad as they make it out to be then why do countries in Europe continue to build incinerators? And would Metro Vancouver really have spent over $20 million on the project if it was going to be a disaster for their population? FVRD claims they have no money to fight waste to energy what they don’t have is money to create another rouse to re-elect Ross, Gaetz and Lum. Board members who continue to run FVRD into the ground along with an inept Chief Administrative Officer, who was ushered out of Mission faster than a shark during feeding time. In his short eight month tenure there has been a mass staff exodus and continues to be while he poaches ‘friends’ from Mission and pays them a pretty penny with approval from Sharon and Patricia.

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  • The Editor says:

    Gary Huntbatch Says:
    You are missing most of the point in focusing on just the emissions even though those emissions are toxic to the extreme. It doesn’t take much to poison the body and cause disease. So it’s not so much the quantity it’s the ‘quality’. Then there will be a minimum of 37,000 tonnes of hazardous at best toxic at worst ash that has to be landfilled somewhere at ten times the cost of regular waste. .Sweden has to import waste from other countries because it doesn’t have enough combustibles to keep their incinerators going. Detroit is bankrupt and has cancelled all recycling programs to feed it’s incinerator or pay thousands in default penalties. This is just what comes to mind at the moment from 6 years of researching incineration…how much time have you spent apart from reading the pretty chart that ‘someone’ gave you…..just so that you knew the facts that ‘they’ wanted you to know?

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  • The Editor says:

    Mike Archer Says:
    Hey Gary, Thanks for the comment. As always you make good points. You’re right about some of the dangers and concerns about incinerators but it was the vacuous nature of the positions taken by our politicians at which I was taking aim. If you go through the links at the bottom of the article you’ll find a fairly large amount of research on which my comments are based and you’ll notice that, other than the dubious research of a researcher who announced his conclusions before he actually did his research … the FVRD doesn’t have much of a scientific leg to stand on. I’m in no way arguing that incineration is better than zero waste nor am I arguing we can do it with abandon. I am arguing that its certainly better than trucking ten or 20 double diesel spewing semis full of garbage through the Fraser Valley every day while building commuter cities which have no jobs thus forcing residents to drive CO2 emitting cars to Vancouver every day and then complaining about a statistically insignificant amount of pollution from a WTE project for purely political reasons. If either Ross or Gaetz could explain, in scientific terms, what it is they believe and why, it would be different. They are simply having the FRVD communications team waste public money fighting their own political battles. There are issues with incinerators and we must be diligent in any application but the blather about polluting the Fraser Valley ‘airshed’ has to stop. If you’ll read the very first piece of research in the article you’ll find that the cause of the summer haze which shuts out our view of the mountains each summer is, in fact, due to our factory farming techniques and the agricultural industry the same two politicians praise at every opportunity they. I know it’s asking a lot for consistency, common sense, the ability to read or make arguments which have a passing resemblance to the facts (all while chewing gum at the same time) from our local politicians but I don’t think we should stop trying 🙂

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  • The Editor says:

    Gary Huntbatch Says:
    I have read enough on this topic to know that anything…anything that might support incineration originates from those in the industry. One thing for sure is; if built it will be built out of the lower mainland so the garbage will still be trucked. If the plant were to be built in Namaimo or Port Mellon loading docks for barging will need to be built, and tugs burn diesel. Then loaded up and trucked again. That 37,000 tonne minimum ash residue cannot be used for anything! It will always be toxic or hazardous. The Chinese tried sneaking just coal ash into gyproc which was shipped to Florida and used in housing construction. All the homes were found to be toxic and subsequently demolished. The Chinese experimented with putting the ash into glass but concluded that the ash, no matter what you do with it will always be what it is, toxic or hazardous. I know that Patricia Ross focusses more on the air pollution but if she stops the garbage incineration using that reason then great! She is a good person and worth 10 of some of our other councillors…including the Mayor. She is compassionate and no matter what you consider her political aspirations to be they are only ‘your opinion’ and may not be true. Garbage incineration WILL bring an end to recycling and when all of us change our habits as to how much garbage we throw out there will be little or nothing to burn but we will still have to

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  • The Editor says:

    Mike Archer Says:
    Thanks Gary, I think we have to stop comforting ourselves with the argument that our politicians may be misguided or wrong but as long as they force issues through sheer will or arrive at the right decision by flawed means it doesn’t matter how they got there. (I’m paraphrasing and probably over simplifying your argument – I hope you will forgive). I think the time has come to demand that the ‘nice’, ‘well-meaning’ and ‘good’ people we elect demonstrate that they actually know whereof they speak rather than show pretend-leadership by appealing to emotions, appearing to support something popular whether they understand it or not, and taking credit for things they couldn’t have accomplished if they had tried. I’m pleased to be corrected by someone like you, who can bring facts and arguments to the table. It’s what intelligent debate is made of. We have witnessed some terrible environmental degradation and destruction in the Fraser Valley as a direct result of the actions and inactions of both Patrica Ross and Sharon Gaetz and I think it is time for both of them to either answer for their actions which have caused much more environmental distress than Metro Vancouver’s plans for a WTE incinerator will, or stop speaking out about issues for which they show very little real understanding. I suspoect that, If they were arguing a point with which you disagreed, you would be infuriated by the shallow nature of their understanding.

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  • The Editor says:

    Gary Huntbatch Says:
    Something about certain women I have come to understand is; while they may not seem to have all of the facts about an issue that a man would like to see they have an inherent ‘knowing’ that something is just not right about a plan or an idea. But, when they do give their support to something that turns out to be ‘not such a good idea’, like Sharon Getts did on the proposed hazardous waste treatment site, it’s usually because she was convinced by some ‘men’ she had respect for…. so she said ‘yea, we should do that. The sooner that men can begin to yield a little of their logic to a womans intuition a better place, I think, the world will be.

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  • The Editor says:

    Gary Huntbatch Says:
    Thanks for ‘catching my drift’ so to speak 🙂

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  • Observation says:

    Thank you Abbotsford Today for this article. It is helpful for voting taxpayers to be informed without bias.

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