Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Colonial Despatches

An article from the Vancouver Sun: New website is the future of historical research on B.C.

But it failed to provide the links to the actual website, here they are:

Colonial Despatches

Early BC maps

Most of the Colonial Despatches can also be downloaded for free from the Internet Archive,
here is a link that uses the search term "British Columbia", and lists the most recently listed texts.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Essondale nursery 1914

A William John Moore photograph of the Essondale tree nursery (full size) recently put on-line by the Vancouver Archives. Very interesting photograph. The fence line is today's Holly Drive, which at that time was Pitt River Road. Looking uphill in the center of the photograph today, one would see the view blocked by the Henry Esson Young building. and the Administration building on the right hand side. This photograph also appears to have a portion of John Davidson's Botanical garden on the right hand side.

The recently completed WestLawn building is in the far left distance.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

PoCo council pay raises

There was a time when serving your community was an honor, the re-numeration was secondary. Times have changed, greed has entered the equation, Port Coquitlam council, voted to raise their salaries; 27% for the Mayor, and a whopping 42% for the councilors.

If only everybody, had such a luxury to vote themselves a large pay raise.

Here is the Tri-Cities news article on the subject, some interesting observations in the comments section, also.
And another article from The NOW

Have a look at the media release (PDF,downloads immediately) from the City.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

PoCo liability with Kennametal contaminated site

Some information about the old Macro-Kennametal site along Kingsway in Port Coquitlam. PoCo bought a portion of the site of the old Macro-Kennametal site for southern landing of the Coast Meridian Overpass, and had it cleaned up. But the site was there for 44 years, and a lot of the pollutants did not stay on the site, since the waste dump was fully exposed to the elements, and surface runoff, and probably considerable amounts found its way into the local watercourses. Nothing used to grow near or on this dump. Testing needs to be done around the area to determine how much risk still exists to the environment. PoCo is only concerned with the site itself, as usual, not thinking outside of the box.

Makes one wonder how competent some of the city staff are, the more we pay them the dumber they get.

In 1952, a tungsten smelter was established by Kennametal Ltd. The company waste site eventually became at least 2-3 acres in size, and nothing ever grew on it. Fluoride being very toxic to plants, animals, with the Cobalt, Manganese and other metal compounds, in a very acidic waste stream, creating a toxic soup that eventually found its way into the local streams that led into the Pitt River.
This companies past practices, have had a large impact on Broadway Creek, that continues to this day.
Typical responses from the councillors and City staff, not "our" problem. Well I totally disagree, the more soluble waste products from the Kennametal operation, entered the nearby watercourses many, many years ago. And they will continue to cycle their way through the ecosystem for many generations to come, affecting the taxpayers now and in the future.
These excerpts from old reports are very telling, the City and the Province knew about the problems many years ago, but did nothing about it.

Title: Fraser River Estuary study – Industrial effluents. 1980 report (9.79Mb,PDF)

Page 50-1(pdf=70-1)

4.6.1 Kennametal Inc., Port Coquitlam (PE 2350)
This manufacturing operation produces carbides of Titanium, Tantalum, Tungsten and Niobium. Wastewater which is discharged consists of uncontaminated cooling water, discussed in Section 8.9.1, and process wastewater.
The process wastewater originates as spent acid solution from the leaching process to reduce impurities, the washing of settled metal carbides, and water from two centrifuges used to reclaim carbides. The process wastewater is discharged to an exfiltration pond. This results in an indirect discharge to the river.
Several analyses of groundwater, between March and July 1975, indicated the following median values: pH,3.7 (range 3.5-5.7); dissolved aluminum 242 mg/L (range 0.6-260 mg/L); dissolved nickel, 20.6 mg/L (range <0.01-26.1 pdf="111)" style="text-align: center;"> Table 21-page 164 (pdf=184)

Title: Coquitlam-Pitt area. Tributaries to the Lower Fraser River along the North Shore.
Water quality assessment and objectives technical appendix December,1989 (6.42Mb, PDF)

Kennametal: pages 31-32(pdf=43-44)

114 m3/day at 24°max cooling jackets, pumps condensers. Carbide manufacturing plant. Process consisted of acid leaching of ground metal carbide, washing of the settled carbides, and centrifuging of the flotation skimmings.
Individual effluents from various processes are held in three tanks prior to entering an exfiltration basin.
The exfiltration basin is about 4 km from the Pitt River.
Permit PE 2350 allows the discharge of 45 m3/day (labelled "01" in table 9) to the pond from the refractory carbide refinery with a pH from 8.5 to 10.5 and the following maximum values for the dissolved fractions of:

iron, 5.0mg/L; nickel, 1.0mg/L; cobalt, 1.0 mg/L; manganese, 1.5mg/L; and fluoride, 10mg/L.

From the vacuum drying section of the powder milling building, the discharge to the exfiltration basin of a maximum 114 m3/d (labelled "02" in table 9) of cooling water at maximum temperatures of 24 C is allowed under permit PE2350.

Data in table 9 indicates that the permit limits are seldom achieved.

Data for 1986 do not indicate any improvement in effluent quality.

The company also has a permit PR 2351 for a refuse site. [Note: This is what has been dealt with recently.]
Metal concentrates are smelted and cooled in graphite crucibles which are broken to free the metal. These broken crucibles comprise 90% of the refuse.
Broken refractory brick and linings from the furnaces account for the remainder of the refuse. In addition sludge from the effluent holding tanks and the exfiltration pond are also disposed of at the refuse site.
Permit PR 2351 allows the disposal of a total of 1.1m3/d to the refuse site.
If lime were added so that the pH of both the refuse and wastewater effluent was at least 10.5, this operation would have only a minimal impact on groundwater. However, this remedy has yet to be implemented.

Table 9; page 117(pdf=129)

+ Median value “01” = discharge from refractory carbide refinery
* All values are as mg/L except: “02” = discharge from vacuum drying section of the powder milling building.
(1) Flow as M3/Day. (2) pH (3) Specific conductivity as μs/cm Source: B.C. Ministry of the Environment.
Water quality criteria for salmon culture

Temperature toxic >25°C
pH best 6.5-8.5 toxic <5,>9 [1.5 lowest, to a 10.8 high. Extremely variable.]
Fluoride <1.5

Media from the NOW newspaper....

“Contaminated” soil near overpass. By: Jennifer McFee
Coquitlam NOW June 2, 2010.

Councillors knew of contaminant. “We never kept it a secret,” Port Coquitlam Coun. Darrell Penner says.
By: Jennifer McFee, Coquitlam NOW June 4, 2010.

Concern growing over contaminants. By: Jennifer Mcfee, Coquitlam NOW June 11, 2010

Contaminants moving toward river June 23,2010




The company has been involved in various environmental cleanup and remediation activities at several of its manufacturing facilities. In addition, the company has been named as a potentially responsible party at four Superfund sites in the United
States. However, it is management's opinion, based on its evaluations and discussions with outside counsel and independent consultants, that the ultimate resolution of these environmental matters will not have a material adverse effect on the results of operations, financial position or cash flows of the company. The company maintains a Corporate Environmental, Health and Safety (EH&S) Department as well as an EH&S Policy Committee to ensure compliance with environmental regulations and to monitor and oversee remediation activities.
addition, the company has established an EH&S administrator at each of its domestic manufacturing facilities. The company's financial management team periodically meets with members of the Corporate EH&S Department and the Corporate Legal Department to review and evaluate the status of environmental projects and contingencies. On a quarterly and annual basis,management establishes or adjusts financial provisions and reserves for environmental contingencies in accordance with SFAS No. 5, "Accounting for Contingencies."
[ So the Company is not as “green” as they would want us to believe.]


This is the Environment Canada file on the site, does not really tell much at all. The interesting part is how the companies’ environmental consultant, based in Pennsylvania, lists the wastes as being offsite.

NPRI ID: 3236

Number of employees: 74
Ceased operations September 1996, razed buildings December 1996. [ demolished by Litchfield, who from their website were proud that they recycled 80% of the buildings. Wonder how many safety precautions were in place, some of the buildings would have had fine metal dust throughout..]

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Another part of Coquitlam's wetlands fading into history

February 14: Ten days after I reported the situation. No attempt at siltation control. Where this water enters Scott Creek, there is Salmon eggs incubating in the creek right now.

February 14: slumping erosion, into remaining wetland

February 14: A pile of plant and construction debris, now fills what is left of the other wetland.

February 14: On the Left Private property. On the right a storm drain Right of Way.

Before and After

Some of the trees removed

Rough plan of the watercourses in the immediate area

Culvert that drains the wetland. Exposed for about 40 feet before it enters the CPR culvert. How did they miss this????

Wetland slowly being filled in from the left hand side.

Goodbye functioning wetland

Looking towards Coquitlam town centre, the foreground once contained a small stream, wetland, now filled in.

Remaining wetland, being filled in.

Sodium Fluoroscein dye entering Scott Creek, (a harmless dye), through an outfall at the end of, Fleming Street.
Dye testing the pond, confirmed the connection to Scott Creek

Location of the "missing" culvert.
Just throwing a few crushed leaves in would have pointed it out.
Culvert under the CPR tracks. Note the scale marks from previous water flows on the walls of the culvert.
Aerial view June 1979, can still make out the railway grade where it joins the CPR mainline

Aerial view 2009 showing, what is left

Aerial view 2009

aerial view 2003

I went by this wetland last week, and lo and behold, it was being filled in!. I contacted DFO, who replied that they sent a technician out and he, concurred with an earlier assumption by the Cities own biologist that it had no culvert or connection to any watercourse, how wrong they were, "blind" biologists, are among us. This wetland/ very small creek, was at one time known as Crabbe Creek, after a local family, who had a sawmill, where today's Save-on-foods is located. The remnant of it which is now being filled in without any type of environmental controls in place, lies beside the old J.A.Dewar railway tracks, later Deeks-McBride, now LaFarge Lake Park, (MS Word Document) which at one time was a gravel mining operation. One more Lost stream to add too the list. Pictures tell a story. Due diligence is apparently not part, of some folks job description. Update: Murray Manson,DFO e-mailed me telling me that he had put a stop work order on the site, in reference to the new information that I provided.

For a really good look at what it looked like around its perimeter, load Google Earth, and turn on Street View, they shot pictures all along Christmas Way, and Pheasant Street.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Travelling Baptist Church?

A pdf that I created about a Baptist church that at one time was at the corner of Prairie and Flint in Port Coquitlam in 1921, and was moved in 1921 to Vancouver, where it still stands.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Boam book finally online

A rare book about bc just before WWI
British Columbia, its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources; (1912) 46mb-pdf; other formats are available. Another good resource for history nuts is found at;
Hathi Trust Digital Library