Media Release

Mohawks, Municipalities and Residents Commend Environment Ministry’s Recommendation Against Approval of Richmond Landfill Expansion

Jun 09 2006

The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte (MBQ), local municipalities, and concerned citizens are pleased that the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) released a report today which strongly recommends against approving the proposed mega-expansion of the Richmond Landfill Site near Napanee. The landfill site owner, Waste Management of Canada Corporation, is seeking MOE approval for a 25 year, 18 million tonne expansion of the existing landfill. However, the MOE’s “Government Review” report under the Environmental Assessment Act concluded that: “The ministry’s Review identified that the EA does not adequately describe existing baseline conditions, meet regulatory requirements for satisfying Reasonable Use Limits at the property boundary, or provide for a viable leachate control option.  Given that the landfill is a potential source of groundwater contamination in a susceptible subsurface environment, the Review has also concluded that there are significant environmental risks associated with expanding the landfill.” “The proponent has consistently tried to validate its assumptions and demonstrate that its proposal would not result in any significant environmental affects.  The ministry does not agree, and over the last six years the proponent has been unable to satisfy the ministry’s technical concerns.  The ministry and other review agencies still do not agree and cannot validate the findings and conclusions in the EA.” Accordingly, the MOE’s “Government Review” report recommends: “That the proposed undertaking not be approved due to concerns identified by the ministry, members of the Government Review Team, the MBQ, and the public.” Local reaction to the MOE’s recommendation is favourable and supportive. “For the past seven years, we have battled against the Richmond Landfill expansion, and I am pleased that the MOE technical review recommends that the proposed expansion not be approved due to environmental concerns,” said Chief R. Donald Maracle of the MBQ. “Minister Broten has indicated to me that her decision will be based on technical advice from staff, and she should now reject this proposal and not drag it any further.” “The Town is very pleased that the MOE has listened to what our council, citizens and peer review team have said from the beginning – that this expansion proposal should not be approved,” said Gordon Schermerhorn, Mayor of the Town of Greater Napanee. “The recommendation from the staff of the MOE is a very positive step, but we still need to have everyone participate during the five week public review period to ensure the Minister’s decision follows the staff recommendation.” “The Government Review’s recommendation represents good news for our community and for our environment,” stated Margaret Walsh, Reeve of Tyendinaga Township. “We fully endorse the recommendation that the proposed expansion is an environmentally risky undertaking which should not be approved.” “In my view, the Government Review document should be the final nail in the landfill expansion coffin,” stated Richard Lindgren, a CELA lawyer who represents local residents.  “We therefore call upon the Environment Minister and her Cabinet colleagues to accept the MOE’s expert recommendation, and to immediately kill this proposal once and for all."   - 30 - For more information:  Chief R. Donald Maracle  613-396-3424  Mayor Gordon Schermerhorn  613- 354-3351 Reeve Margaret Walsh  613-396-6021  Richard Lindgren  613-385-1686