The operator of a Barnhartvale landfill notorious for non-compliance is doing a better job of abiding his permit conditions, Minister of Environment Terry Lake said Tuesday.
Despite a series of court actions in which Dan Ambrosi alleged he was being treated unfairly by City and provincial employees, the province has been working co-operatively with Ambrosi, Lake said.
Lake was commenting on the status quo in light of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that dismissed an appeal by Ambrosi, a continuation of court action the landfill operator took against government employees.
"I'm happy the appeal has been denied," Lake said. "It shows the ministry was working within the guidelines and has been following the law, and we have been able to hold this operator to the law in terms of the conditions of his permit."
Controversy surrounding the Owl Creek landfill erupted when Lake was mayor of Kamloops. The smouldering dispute with permit regulators and neighbouring residents was one of his first priorities in civic office, long before he was appointed minister of environment last year.
Lake said he was advised earlier on that cancelling Ambrosi's landfill permit might wind up costing the public purse. A big hole would be left in the ground and City taxpayers would be left to foot the bill for remediation. They opted instead to work with Ambrosi.
Ambrosi hired a reputable consultant and has made improvements in dust control and handling of various materials.
"He has improved his practices. They (ministry staff) are happier with the way things are going then they have been in the past."