Opponents of a plan to spread biosolids on farmland near Salmon Valley won a round on Friday.
About a dozen residents of the community formed a blockade on Wright Creek Rd., just off Highway 97 North and just south of Salmon Valley, to prevent a truckload of the material from being transported to the site.
Police were called to the scene but the confrontation ended peacefully with the truck turning around for the day.
Blockade leader Andy Angele said the material, made of sludge at the Lansdowne sewage treatment plant and used as a fertilizer, poses too great an environmental risk.
He said it will be spread on a sloped piece of property and the spring runoff will end up on his and his neighbours property, flooding their property with toxins.
The runoff will also go into a nearby spring, Angele said.
The plan was to stockpile the material until next year when it would be spread, which Angele claimed would cause an odour problem.
The citys biosolids have been used as fertilizer since 1989, primarily on farms surrounding Prince George, but became a source of controversy first in Red Rock and then in Salmon Valley over the last few years.
Angele has pointed to test results showing sludge contains a long list of toxic chemicals - including arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury, but proponents say they exist in only trace amounts once the material is processed into biosolids and then mixed into the soil.
Proponents also say the material has a peat-like quality and retains moisture, particularly once crops that also absorb water are planted into land where it is applied.
The material made at Lansdowne is classified as class B under the provinces organic matter recycling regulation.
It takes a less-stringent process to make class B biosolids than class A, but contains more pathogens and heavy metals and there are greater restrictions on how much can be applied to the land.
The city did not return a request for comment.