Media Release

Notre Makes Case for Mega-Dump; Citizens Coalition Prepares to Counter

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

Mar 30 1998

Kirkland Lake. A fast-tracked environmental assessment hearing on a proposal to bring Toronto's garbage to northern Ontario gets underway in earnest today, with Notre Development calling their first witnesses in an effort to convince a three person panel that the mega-dump should be approved. "We believe the panel will reject Notre's proposal after they have heard the case for and against filling the Adams Mine with Toronto's garbage" predicted Brennain Lloyd, a spokesperson for Northwatch, one of eight groups in the Adams Mine Intervention Coalition.The Coalition was formed by eight local and regional organizations concerned about the environmental and social impacts related to using the abandoned open pit mine as a disposal site for garbage shipped from southern Ontario. Opposition in the area is estimated to be as high as 95% in some affected townships, and has been constant since the proposal was first announced almost a decade ago. "The Notre proposal relies heavily on speculative data; there are no dump sites in Ontario that have waste anywhere near this deep, or that use the proposed hydraulic containment in fractured rock, said Joe Muething, an Englehart area resident. "It's all experimental, and its simply too risky." The hearing has been restricted to a technical debate about whether the proposed design will work to keep the leachate from escaping to neighbouring wells, rivers and lakes. While the Environmental Assessment Act requires that the need for a project and alternatives be examined, changes to the legislation last year made it possible for the Minister of the Environment to restrict assessments to a much shorter list of concerns.In a surprise move last Friday, Notre Development brought a legal motion attempting to restrict the hearing further, by prohibiting any discussion of the need to post financial assurances, which would ensure that money was available for clean-up should the project design fail.Opening sessions were held last week, with the main hearing getting underway this week. Notre Development called several witnesses on the proposed dump design, which relies on all the water flowing into the garbage-filled pit and then being pumped out again. The Ministry of the Environment will present the following week, followed by the Adams Mine Intervention Coalition.- 30 -For more information:Brennain Lloyd, Northwatch, 705-497-0373Joe Muething, 705-544-8254Rick Lindgren, Counsel, Canadian Environmental Law Association, 416-960-2284