Media Release

CELA to Represent Citizens at OMYA-Tay River Appeals

Apr 15 2002

Perth, Ontario. The Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) has agreed to act for citizen respondents at two appeals by OMYA (Canada) Inc. of a decision by the Environmental Review Tribunal issued February 19th, 2002.The Environmental Review Tribunal decision was a compromise between the needs of an industry and the needs of the environment. It gave OMYA a permit for twice as much water as it can take under its current permit, but less water than OMYA had asked for. The new permit also introduced a number of safeguards in a precautionary approach to water use. OMYA appealed this decision in March both to the Ontario Divisional Court and to Ontario's Minister of the Environment. An appeal to the Divisional Court must be based on questions of law, while appeals to the Minister are based on policy. In both cases, OMYA is seeking to overturn the Environmental Review Tribunal decision.The OMYA case has already taken 35 days of hearings. The issues involve how Ontario's Environmental Bill of Rights should be applied and whether the Ministry of the Environment applied its Statement of Environmental Values in granting OMYA its permit. It is these issues that make the OMYA case now a matter of concern for all people and all water in Ontario.The Ministry of the Environment and the Council of Canadians have also responded to the appeal notices and will participate as co-respondents with CELA.-30-For more information:At CELA:Paul Muldoon,Executive Director and Counsel, 416-960-2284, ext. 219Ramani Nadarajah, Counsel, 416-960-2284, ext. 217Citizens:Sulyn Cedar, 613-268-2424