Pitt council to send letter on N. Alouette River fish kill

  • Feb. 4, 2011 8:00 p.m.
Environmentalist Jack Emberly collected some of the dead fish for testing

Environmentalist Jack Emberly collected some of the dead fish for testing

The City of Pitt Meadows will join Maple Ridge in sending a letter to the federal government, asking for an update on an investigation into a fish kill in the North Alouette River.

On Tuesday, council approved sending the query to the Minister of Fisheries Gail Shea, inquiring about the Department of Fisheries investigation.

“I really think we need to support our neighbours,” said Coun. Deb Walters.

“I really want to know what’s happening, what’s been done and what’s the results were. This affects our region.”

Maple Ridge’s letter refers to the death of several hundred juvenile fish in the North Alouette in May 2009.

Environmentalist Jack Emberly reviewed Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Environment Canada’s response to the fish kill and reports of excavation in the river in May 2009 and noted confusion between the departments and that no one visited the site until the next day. When he collected some of those dead fish for testing, the DFO refused to take them.

During that month, Golden Eagle Group installed a 45-centimetre-wide water intake pipe into the North Alouette without a water licence.

Golden Eagle Group, however, denies any connection between the fish kill and the installation of the pipe for watering its cranberry fields.

After almost two years, and a provincial government investigation, there has been no decision on charges.

The city director of operations told Pitt council that the Golden Eagle Group has yet to receive its water license from the province.

The company has received an extension from the provincial Ministry of Environment as it completes engineering work for its water license application.