Editor: I’m writing to respond to the letter published Feb 3, headlined “Smell in Walnut Grove is horrible, and could pose severe risk.” As a provider of liquid waste management and air quality services, Metro Vancouver is committed to safeguarding ecological and human health in our region.
We take odour complaints very seriously and respond quickly to issues related to the operations of our facilities.
The Northwest Langley Wastewater Treatment Plant, located under the south side of the Golden Ears Bridge, does indeed produce some odours which, under certain conditions, can be detected on the bridge and in the immediate vicinity of the plant. We recently have made improvements at the plant to minimize these odours.
Following recent complaints from concerned residents in Walnut Grove, investigations by the environmental regulation and enforcement arms of Metro Vancouver indicate that the odours are unlikely to be from the wastewater treatment plant, given that the detected odours are uncharacteristic of our facility, which is more than two kilometres away from the affected area.
The northwest portion of Langley Township contains many industrial and agricultural operations that emit strong odours, making it difficult to pinpoint a specific source. We are, however, continuing investigations to track down the primary source of the recent odours. The situation is exacerbated by the current atmospheric inversion that is preventing air from circulating out of the area.
My colleagues and I sympathize with the people living and working in Walnut Grove who are being affected by nuisance odours, and are working closely with the Township of Langley staff to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
Simon So, General Manager,
Liquid Waste Services, Metro Vancouver