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Forest desecrated with paint

Less than a week after employees at Grouse River organized a clean-up of 1500 lbs of garbage from Postill Lake Road, someone has desecrated the area again, this time with paint cans.

Conservation officers were called out to an area 3km up Postill Lake Road after members of the BC Jeep Club spotted 40 cans of industrial paint left on a trail.

Terry Myroniuk, a conservation officer in Kelowna, says he attended the site and discovered the large industrial paint and solvents which he believes had been used for land-marking.

Now conservation is asking for the public’s assistance in finding the culprit who dumped the cans in the recently cleaned area.

“It is disappointing people would do this. Why would you drive up into the bush, spend money on gas just to dump this,” says Myroniuk. “Especially when there are several places in the Okanagan where you can take this type of material.”

It is unclear how many days ago the paint was dumped, but Myroniuk says it’s clear several people saw it and never called the RAP line (The Report All Poachers and Polluters program).

“Someone has shot holes into the paint cans, and now the paint is leaking out.”

A Hazmat team will be attending the scene to clean up the materials, and an environmental assessment will be conducted.

“We get a lot of calls regarding dumping, but we don’t usually see hazardous material such as this being left in the woods, however I have seen it done before,” explains Myroniuk. “We take this kind of dumping very seriously.”

After investigating the scene where the 40 industrial paint cans were dumped, Myroniuk discovered other fresh dump sites.

“There are two more piles of garbage, right in the same area (where) Grouse River conducted their clean up. There is a busted up couch in one location and a pile of house-hold garbage and personal effects like clothes in another. It is literally right beside the road.”

Myroniuk says penalties for dumping vary from fines to court appearances.

“We are looking for more information regarding the dumping of the paint, but I have some excellent evidence from the other two dump sites.”

Conservation believes the paint was previous used to re-paint a parking lot. Specifically, the blue paint may have been used on handicap stalls.

Meantime, Amber Coyle at Grouse River was disgusted when she saw pictures of the area her company cleaned up Sunday.

"I'm totally appalled," said Coyle.

"I almost feel by cleaning up the area and doing some good that somebody heard about it and thought they could do this and someone else would clean it up."

If you have any information regarding dumping near Postill Lake Road please call the RAP (Report All Poachers and Polluters) line at 1-877-952-7277, and reference file number 14-0524 for the poorly disposed of industrial paint.

If you are not sure how to dispose of certain materials try the Battery Doctor in Kelowna at 1972 Windsor Road or call the Recycling Hotline of BC at 1-800-667-4321.

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