Media Release

Citizens Take Dump Decision to Court

Posted on behalf of CELA's clients: the Adams Mine Intervention Coalition

Sep 01 1998

Kirkland Lake. Last week's Cabinet decision to approve a mega-dump in northern Ontario is up in the air again, with today's announcement by a coalition of farmers, local residents and environmental groups that they are commencing a legal challenge against the dump approval.The Harris government went public last week with its approval of a proposed mega-dump near Kirkland Lake. The Adams Mine Intervention Coalition, which was a party in the Environmental Assessment Board hearing, was informed of the government's decision only through media coverage."Right down to the manner in which it announced the approval, this government has shown it has no respect for the local residents or local concerns about threats to water quality and loss of livelihood. Government has shown it does not respect Temiskaming District, but there's got to be some respect for the law - so we're going to court," explained Brennain Lloyd, coordinator of Northwatch and a spokesperson for the Coalition.The 3 person hearing panel issued a split decision on June 19, with 2 of the 3 agreeing to a conditional approval of a proposal to convert an abandoned iron ore mine into a 20 million tonne garbage dump. Final approval could be granted by an MOE bureaucrat, an arrangement which the Adams Mine Intervention Coalition says is against the law. The Coalition has retained the Canadian Environmental Law Association as legal counsel, and has decided to seek a court review of the decision to approve Notre Development's proposal. The court action will commence shortly, when the group files its judicial review application with the Ontario Divisional Court. Key among the Coalition's legal concerns is the attempt of the hearing panel to hand its decision-making responsibilities to a Ministry of the Environment employee."The Environmental Assessment Board's job was to decide whether Notre Development had proven that the dump could be operated safely. When the evidence fell short of that mark, the Board should have rejected the proposal or asked for more evidence. Instead, the Board attempted to delegate its decision to some director in the Ministry to make the actual decision," explained Joe Muething, a spokesperson for the Coalition.Legal proceedings could take several months, during which time the Coalition will ask the courts to put an interim halt to the dump's construction by Notre Development.- 30 -For more information:Brennain Lloyd, Northwatch - 705-497-0373Joe Muething -705-544-8254Rick Lindgren, Counsel - Canadian Environmental Law Association, 416-960-2284