Media Release

Residents, Mohawks and Municipality Demand Withdrawal of Landfill Proposal near Napanee

Apr 15 2013

Napanee - The Concerned Citizens, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, and a local municipality are calling upon Waste Management of Canada Corporation to withdraw its controversial proposal to construct a mega-landfill beside the closed Richmond Landfill near Napanee, Ontario.

“Our long-standing concerns about the unsuitability of this site for landfilling purposes have been validated by recent developments in our appeal to the Environmental Review Tribunal,” stated Mike Bossio, Chair of the Concerned Citizens Committee. “In our view, Waste Management owes it to site neighbours and local communities to remediate the groundwater impacts from the Richmond Landfill, and to discontinue its proposal to build an even bigger landfill at this risky location.”

The Concerned Citizens filed an appeal to the Tribunal in relation to environmental monitoring, contingency plans, and reporting obligations regarding the Richmond Landfill. In October 2012, Waste Management submitted groundwater data which prompted a Ministry of the Environment hydrogeologist to conclude that:

“It is my opinion that the landfill has impacted groundwater at, and beyond, the southern property boundary (essentially Beechwood Road). These impacts exceed allowable limits according to Guideline B-7… As such, the site is in non-compliance with Guideline B-7 and its Environmental Compliance Approval.”

On April 12, 2013, the parties in the ongoing appeal filed documents at a Tribunal hearing to outline the detailed work that Waste Management has agreed to undertake in order to further investigate and address the off-site movement of leachate from the Richmond Landfill.

“All hearing parties – including Waste Management – agree there is evidence that leachate is migrating off-site from the Richmond Landfill and causing off-site groundwater impacts,” said Richard Lindgren, a CELA lawyer representing the Concerned Citizens. “All hearing parties – including Waste Management – also agree that the site hydrogeology is complex, and that there is a lack of groundwater monitoring wells near the area of known contamination.”

“The Richmond Landfill is an old, poorly designed and unfortunately situated landfill site, which has been leaking leachate throughout its history and which has spread leachate-derived contamination into the surrounding environment. The contamination has gone off-site, and at least four residential wells have very likely been impacted,” said Wilf Ruland, a hydrogeologist retained by the Concerned Citizens. “In a better hydrogeological setting, the landfill’s contamination would have been easier to contain and monitor. Shallow fractured rock settings are as bad as it gets, when it comes to locations for a landfill. You want the best possible location for a major landfill operation, not the worst.”

“I’m happy to note that Waste Management is no longer in denial that the Richmond Landfill is impacting the off-site groundwater,” said Chief R. Donald Maracle of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte. “Some significant improvements were achieved in environmental monitoring and public reporting plans. In our view, the Richmond Landfill continues to pose risks – and be an ongoing financial burden – to the Mohawks and neighbouring citizens.”

The latest developments in the appeal hearing arise at a time when Waste Management is currently conducting an environmental assessment of its proposal to construct an even larger landfill (i.e. Beechwood Road Environmental Centre (BREC)) beside the Richmond Landfill.

“The Council of Tyendinaga Township is concerned about these recent findings, especially because a number of Township residents live in close proximity to the Richmond Landfill,” said Rick Phillips, Reeve of the Township of Tyendinaga. “In the circumstances, we do not believe that it is appropriate for Waste Management to proceed with the BREC Landfill at this location.”

For more information, please contact:
Richard Lindgren (CELA) 613-385-1686
Mike Bossio (CCCTE) 613-396-6784
Chief R. Donald Maracle (MBQ) 613-391-9249
Wilf Ruland (P.Geo) 905-648-1296
Reeve Rick Phillips (Tyendinaga Township) 613-477-3129