Media Release

Earth Day Spent in Court over Mega-Dump: Northerners Ask Court to Block Approval of Adams Mine Landfill

Apr 22 1999

Toronto. A coalition of citizens, farmers and environmentalists in northern Ontario are spending Earth Day in court, asking a judge to block the provincial government from giving the go-ahead to a controversial garbage dump. This latest court action was initiated in early March after the Ministry of the Environment circulated a draft certificate of approval."We spent Earth Day last year in an environmental assessment hearing that ended with the hearing panel failing to render a decision. That's why we're in court now", commented Joe Muething, a spokesperson for one of the 8 groups that make up the Adams Mine Intervention Coalition.The Adams Mine was subject to a 15 day assessment hearing in 1998, but the 3 person panel issued a split decision which was inconclusive. The two panel members who issued the majority report concluded that more evidence was needed, but left it to the Ministry of the Environment to make the final decision - a choice that the Coalition says took them outside the panel's jurisdiction. The Coalition launched a legal challenge last September, and argued that their case should be heard before the Ministry of the Environment can issue any further approvals."We have a case waiting to be heard by the Divisional Court. It's outrageous to think that the Minister of the Environment would go ahead and issue a certificate of approval before the case has been heard, and before there's been a decision on whether it is even legal for the certificate to be issued", explained Muething."We've seen the results of the additional tests Notre was ordered to do, and they confirm our previous assessment that the site may leak contaminated leachate into surrounding groundwater," explained Brennain Lloyd, a spokesperson for Northwatch, one of the coalition members.- 30 -For more information:Brennain Lloyd, Northwatch, 705-497-0373Joe Muething, 705-544-8254Rick Lindgren, Counsel, Canadian Environmental Law Association, 416-960-2284