Saving Our Industrial Lands Initiative

The video below is a true story of how a Mayor with a vision turned an otherwise toxic brownfield site into an economically productive Eco-industrial development:

The River Road East corridor in Delta, B.C., is home to several derelict landfill sites which pose significant physical, economic and legal barriers to development. The goal of the Saving Our Industrial Lands (SOIL) initiative is to promote the closure of those sites, facilitate their redevelopment and spur the economic revitalization of the surrounding area. The SOIL initiative has brought together landowners, businesses and government agencies to develop strategies to achieve that goal. 

The Delta Shake & Shingle (DSS) landfill redevelopment is an excellent example of these tools at work. On this, the largest of the landfill sites (2 million m3 of waste), a fire broke out in 1999 and, by the time it had been extinguished three months later, a local state of emergency had been declared, a toxic plume of smoke had dispersed over the region, and ditches and groundwater had been contaminated. The landowner declared bankruptcy leaving the provincial government with a $4 million bill and the municipality with an 'orphan' brownfield site.

Preserving Delta's Industrial Lands

In 2008, the alignment of the South Fraser Perimeter Road, a major provincial highway, had been finalized and Delta commissioned a report into the feasibility of using the road construction to achieve landfill closure.

In 2009, the construction of the South Fraser Perimeter Road through the southernmost section of the landfill provided an opportunity for Delta to work with government and private partners to achieve landfill closure. The $7 million closure project used innovative engineering design works to transform 70 per cent of the landfill to productive industrial use.

The construction of a multi-million dollar eco-industrial facility by Ocean Trailer, the property owner, was completed at the end of 2012, bringing with it more than 150 jobs and spurring interest in other developments in the area.

Recognition

In May 2014, the Corporation of Delta and Mayor Lois E. Jackson received national recognition for our SOIL initiative from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA). The city was presented with the 2014 CAMA Environment Award, in the 20,001 to 100,000 population category, during the association's national conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

In 2012, Mayor Lois E. Jackson was recognized by the Canadian Urban Institute as the recipient of the 2012 Brownfielder of the Year award. The Canadian Urban Institute’s Brownie Awards program recognizes leadership and innovation in a number of areas including sustainable remediation technologies, financing, partnerships and excellence in project development.

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