I am writing on behalf of the Gibsons Waterfront Defence Association (GWDA) to voice our concerns raised by your article of Aug. 22, “Stop work order issued at George demolition site,” in which Coast Reporter wrote that Klaus Fuerniss Enterprises (KFE) had been served with a stop work order by WorkSafe BC due to KFE’s non-compliance with safety regulations in the removal of asbestos-containing materials.
Demolition permits are issued by the Town of Gibsons and article 22.4 of our demolition bylaws states clearly that “Disposal of debris shall be in accordance with all applicable enactments and building code site safety requirements.” The fact that this was not met, and that innocent workers may have been personally exposed to asbestos only serves to increase our concerns given the presence of a number of other toxins known to be on this site and perilously close to our aquifer. One of these is the very deadly compound tributyltin which, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, is the most toxic of the butyl compounds. Given that the developer’s own environmental consultant did not identify the presence of tributyltin in his initial reports concerning the site, and now given the recent actions vis-a-vis toxic asbestos, we at GWDA are very worried about the possibility of future transgressions having even more deadly consequences to our waterfront, our marine life and us, the citizens of Gibsons.
Michael Storr, Director, Gibsons Waterfront Defence Association