Media Release

Mohawks and Residents Slam Richmond Dump Owner's Refusal to Allow Independent Water Sampling at Landfill Site

Mar 14 2006

Today the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte (MBQ) and Tyendinaga Township residents sharply condemned Waste Management of Canada’s refusal to allow MBQ’s consultants access to the Richmond Landfill Site to take water samples for testing purposes."We are greatly disappointed and frustrated by Waste Management’s refusal to let our consultants conduct on-site water sampling," said Chief R. Donald Maracle of the MBQ. "Our community is gravely concerned about the quality of surface water and groundwater flowing into Mohawk Territory from the vicinity of the Richmond Landfill. That is why we approached Waste Management for permission to undertake on-site water sampling for various contaminants, including tritium because, to our knowledge, it does not appear that this substance has been tested on-site since 1999, even though it is a useful parameter for tracking leachate."In January and February 2006, Chief Maracle wrote to Waste Management to request permission for MBQ’s environmental consultants (XCG Consultants Ltd.) to take samples from groundwater monitoring wells that currently exist on-site. The MBQ’s consultants also proposed to take surface water samples from on-site locations along Marysville Creek and the Beechwood Ditch.However, this access request was recently refused by Waste Management on the grounds that the company’s consultants have already performed groundwater and surface water testing at Richmond Landfill, and that "there is no need of additional investigation on-site." This refusal was made despite previous assurances by Waste Management that it would permit MBQ consultants to access the site for testing purposes. "We are astounded by Waste Management’s lack of cooperation in this matter," said Margaret Walsh, Reeve of Tyendinaga Township. "As a site neighbour, the Township is offended and alarmed that Waste Management will not permit independent water testing upon its property.""If Waste Management is confident that its previous water testing results are accurate and reliable, then we fail to see any reason why Waste Management would refuse to allow MBQ consultants to independently doublecheck these results," added Richard Lindgren, an environmental lawyer who represents Tyendinaga Township residents. "This unjustified refusal also begs the question -- why is Waste Management now unwilling to allow independent testing at the Richmond Landfill Site?"- 30 -For more information, please contact: Richard Lindgren (613) 385-1686 Chief R. Donald Maracle (613) 396-3424Reeve Margaret Walsh (613) 396-6021