IT WAS hard not to miss the irritated sound of the February 17, 2012 letter sent by provincial environment ministry official Eric Pierce to the Kitimat-Stikine regional district concerning its plans for a super dump at Forceman Ridge:
* You’ve been messing with this project closing in on 20 years now.
* The Ministry of Environment says the new location is ideal.
* Your dump in Thornhill isn’t up to current standards.
* Time to get moving.
And, just for good measure, as if to emphasize that the regional district was not the only misbehaving pupil in the classroom, Mr. Pierce said he would also be sending a stern message to the City of Terrace about its dump which would close as part of the Forceman plan.
Whether or not Mr. Pierce’s two letters will prompt the regional district and the city into quicker action remains to be seen.
Closing two old dumps, converting the Thornhill one to a transfer station and opening a new one is as much an engineering and planning accomplishment as it is a political one in putting the pieces in the right order.
But Mr. Pierce’s letter sets out a deadline – 2015 – to get the job done or face the prospect of spending lots of money on the two current facilities.
The province can swing a big hammer here if it wants and is hinting it won’t be shy to do so.