For a Saanich family, living in what they considered their dream home, has become a nightmare.
Peter and Cathy Blazkow purchased the five-acre property in 2012 with their daughter and son-in-law. Last year they decided to build a new garage, but when they started digging, out came a nasty surprise: the soil reeked of fuel.
An environmental assessment dug up some disturbing details.
“There was contamination of toluene, xylene, benzene and a lot of ethylbenzene and all of those are dangerous… in some places it was almost 20-feet deep, we dug down to bedrock,” Cathy Blazkow said.
The family has spent $100,000 to dig out 80 dump trunks worth of toxic soil the cost of removing that soil from their property will cost around $200,000, Blazkow said.
“I would like it trucked out, I don’t want it here. I really believe that’s what made us sick this winter,” she said.
They’ve already sold their rental property to pay for the work and are on the verge of having to dig into retirement savings. Now, the Blazkows are suing the previous owners of the property.
But their lawyer says a judge won’t be available to hear their case until 2018.
“And apparently the people that lived here before us are not in a financial position to help,” Blazkow said.
She said she’s made hundreds of calls, adding all she wants is some guidance on how to deal with this problem.
When asked during question period at the legislature, B.C.’s Environment Minister Mary Polak said she wasn’t aware of the Blazkow’s troubles, but said she will look into it.
Blazkow said having this dirty disaster on the minister’s radar is a ray of hope during a discouraging time for her family.