SOUTH SURREY â€” The Semiahmoo First Nations have begun to restore land used by the cities of Surrey and White Rock back to its original state.
In a release sent out last week, the Semiahmoo First Nation announced the band has begun its Contaminated Soil and Waste Remediation Project on Lot 57 of the Semiahmoo Indian Reserve, formerly the site of Semiahmoo Park.
The site had been previously leased to the City of surrey from 1942 to 1996 â€œfor park purposes onlyâ€ but was used by both Surrey and the City of White Rock in the 1950s and 60s as a park, landfill, as well as a site to install municipal infrastructure. As a result, the Semiahmoo First Nation say some of the soil has been impacted by the municipal waste and the current projectâ€™s aim is to restore the land to its original state.
According to the release, â€œthe objective of the project is to remove the municipal solid waste and contaminated soil to the extents practical without altering the stream banks of the river. The remediation of the project area will return the site to the pre-excavation grade.â€
When asked about his White Rockâ€™s involvement, Greg St. Louis, director of engineering and municipal operations, said they were assisting Semiahmoo in locating any existing pipes on the property.
â€œRight now we have a pump station on Marine Drive and itâ€™s a rainwater station that gets pumped through the Little Campbell River, so we have a surveyor out there to locate that line and weâ€™re doing our best to help out there and locate any other utilities out there that may be ours,â€ he said. â€œBasically weâ€™re there to help locate our lines and make sure they donâ€™t dig in those spots.â€
Once the site has been restored back to its original state, the land will be permitted for future development, though the release notes, â€œSemiahmoo First Nation does not have any plans for future development at this time.â€
Calls to Semiahmoo First Nation spokesperson Joanne Charles were not returned by press time.