Ministry of Environment inspection officers are recommending another fine for a company operating a chicken manure facility across from an elementary school in Abbotsford.
93 Land Company has been the subject of multiple failed inspections since it started operations at a property directly across from King Traditional elementary in 2017.
The Abbotsford board of education has frequently heard concerns from students, staff and parents about the “toxic” odour emanating from the facility, which they say is causing symptoms of headaches, nausea and breathing issues.
The ministry’s most recent report, published Jan. 26, says the latest inspection in November – again prompted by odour complaints – found the company was out of compliance with seven requirements related to a recent permit approval for the discharge of contaminants into the air.
These include ventilation and filtration systems not being in operation, ammonia and emission levels not being monitored, and manure mixing taking place without negative pressure.
A company chemist told inspectors that they are currently in the “proof of concept and build-out phase” of their approval, the required infrastructure is under construction, and air-quality monitoring would begin within two weeks. One photo taken by inspectors does show a litter-storage facility being built.
A total of seven ministry inspections have taken place at the facility on Bradner Road since 2017, and it has been found to be out of compliance on every occasion. One fine of $9,000 has been issued to date.
The owners of 93 Land Company also owned a composting company in Abbotsford that was subject to two stop-work orders in 2015 and 2016 before moving off the property.
School trustees have previously expressed their frustration with a lack of regulatory action from the Ministry of Environment, and have opposed the company’s application to the city for a non-farm-use permit.
The Agricultural Land Commission conducted an inspection at the property on Oct. 15, 2021 related to the company’s alleged non-farm use of the land, but the findings have not been published.
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