Multiple flatbeds of derelict cars are among more than 100 items of scrap removed at last from a Fort Liard gravel pit and sent south for recycling.
The vehicles were supposed to be removed last year but the pandemic and its associated Highway 7 border closure halted that plan. Scrapped vehicles have long been a feature of the gravel pit, which is within walking distance of the community.
The items shipped south "were collected from the surrounding areas of Fort Liard in 2020 and placed and stored in the quarry for future removal,” Ashley Makohoniuk, a spokesperson for the Department of Lands, said via email.
The territorial government said a contractor took the old cars to Fort Nelson, B.C., last week, where they will be recycled.
Hamlet of Fort Liard staff told Cabin Radio they could not comment as the hamlet has no authority over the gravel pit.
Last year, superintendent of lands Laurie Nadia told Cabin Radio the department was trying to move the vehicles before the seepage of materials like paints, battery acids, or oils into groundwater and soil posed a hazard to wildlife and the environment.
The territorial government now says no environmental concerns have been noted at the site.
Dumping has been a concern at the quarry. Last year, residents and Fort Liard's former mayor complained about the problem on social media.
In a bid to stop the area becoming a dumping ground again, the territorial government says a gate installed at the entrance is kept locked at all times.
“The Department of Lands will complete regular inspections and monitor the quarry to ensure that no dumping occurs,” Makohoniuk said.
“If dumping does occur on the land, the Department of Lands will work with the community of Fort Liard to investigate and take further action if required.”
McKenna Hadley-Burke contributed reporting.
Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio