Wednesday April 16, 2014


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Silveri paints himself a victim


Dear Editor,

This letter is in response to the letter from Frank Silveri (Whistler Aggregates and Alpine Paving) last week.

In that letter Mr. Silveri wonders why he is the industrial pariah of Whistler village. The reason is that he continues to pollute the adjacent community with toxic asphalt and diesel fumes and particulates, as well as excessive noise, and refuses to acknowledge the grossly polluting nature of his industrial enterprises and the effects of his operations on the health of the community.

In my opinion, Mr. Silveri presents several facts in his letter in order to paint himself as a victim.

Contrary to his statement that his asphalt plant produces "steam," the smoke from the plant also contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other airborne pollutants, which are carcinogenic. The disingenuous suggestion that his operation produces only steam from superheated bitumen defies logic.

Contrary to his statement that no one has done "any research," past letters to the editor and representations to Ccuncil have cited scientific studies, linking asphalt plants to respiratory diseases and cancers. Simply Google asphalt plants/cancer and the studies provide conclusive evidence of those facts. 

Mr. Silveri also refers to the "smell" of the asphalt plant, implying that the fumes are benign, when in fact they are not.

He also makes the statement that some residents "were quick to sign the disclosure statement," whereas this resident and all others I am aware of, considered the disclosure statement thoroughly. The disclosure statement referred to the "odours" from the plant, and once the purchasers were aware of that misrepresentation, calling toxins odours, they determined that the vendors had not made full disclosure.

That impasse was only resolved when the past council, prior to the Olympics, represented to the purchasers and residents of Whistler that it would complete the negotiations with Mr. Silveri to relocate the plant, which negotiations were in fact referred to in the disclosure statement.

Past members of council led purchasers to believe that negotiations regarding the relocation would be completed.

Then the past council, to the shock of the community, signed an agreement with Mr. Silveri to move the plant 200 meters. The facts are that the purchasers were led to believe that relocation would be several kilometers away from the village.

The distance away from the village is necessary due to the pollution from the plant and to take into consideration pollutants from ancillary operations including commercial transport and diesel fumes (they are not composed of steam: Globe and Mail, June 13, 2012) .

In a nutshell, Alpine Paving had sole-source, untendered, asphalt contracts for decades. It culminated in windfall profits from the Olympics.

Part of the Olympics was the building of the village, which Mr. Silveri knew at the time and from which he profited. Now there is a large community adjacent to an excessively noisy, polluting industrial enterprise. In my opinion, the operation of the facility constitutes a legal nuisance. 

The issue is simple in that the two uses of the area are not compatible.

Making matters worse is the suggestion in the letter that the blasting, quarry, asphalt and other activities are harmless.

Most frustrating is Mr. Silveris' reference to himself as a "good neighbour," when he has been fighting relocation for five years and, according to previous council, has residences in Burnaby, British Columbia and Sicily, Italy. He can correct this error if he indeed lives in Whistler. Otherwise, he is an absentee owner of an industrial, polluting businesses in Whistler.

Gary Carsen





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