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City News

City issues Notice of Default to organic waste processor

28 February 2017

The City of Richmond has issued a Notice of Default to Harvest Power, in relation to its service agreement to process organic waste. As specified in the service agreement, the notice gives Harvest Power 30 days to remedy ongoing odour issues related to its composting facility in Richmond. Failure to do so could lead to other City actions, including termination of its service agreement with Harvest Power.

“We are absolutely committed to eliminating the foul odours that that have plagued Richmond and other communities,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “We have been working diligently with the responsible agencies, including Metro Vancouver, the Province of BC and Harvest Power to resolve this issue. A number of actions aimed at addressing the issue have been taken as a result of our efforts, but ultimately the complaints are continuing. We will continue to use all avenues available to us until we achieve our objective.”

The City does not have authority to directly impact Harvest Power’s operations. The Province of British Columbia (the Province) regulates air emissions per the Environmental Management Act (the Act). The Province delegated this authority to Metro Vancouver to manage solid waste and air emissions in the region. Metro Vancouver has issued an air quality permit for Harvest Power, which is being appealed by both Harvest Power and various other stakeholders.  While the City does not have any authority under the Act, Richmond is a party to the appeal. City staff have also met with senior Ministry of Environment staff on multiple occasions and Mayor Brodie met with the Minister of Environment. The City continues to urge the Province to address the ongoing odour issue.

Harvest Power is located on land owned by the Federal Government. Harvest Power is presently appealing the air quality permit to the Environmental Appeal Board on the grounds that provincial and regional regulations do not apply to the facility because it is situated on federal land. The City does not agree with that exception.

The City has already diverted some of its organic waste away from Harvest Power. However, it has a service agreement in place with Harvest Power to handle the bulk of its organics waste.

The City has also issued an PDF Document update to residents, outlining important facts they should know about the issue and the actions taken by Richmond to date to address the problem.