Media Release: “Immediate Closure of the Richmond Landfill” Says Ontario’s Environmental Watchdog

Media Release

Environmental Commissioner takes Richmond Landfill fight to Queen’s Park 

TORONTO, QUEEN’S PARK – The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario came to Queen’s Park today with a clear message for the Legislature: close the Richmond Landfill. The site poses significant environmental risks and the government has made a serious mistake in allowing it to remain open.

Quote from Commissioner’s Report:

‘The ECO believes that the continued operation of the site poses an unjustified risk to the environment and urges MOE to require the orderly closure of the site immediately.’

This announcement warrants immediate action from the Minister of the Environment and it may put an end to a decades-long battle fought by concerned citizens and the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte to protect their local environment.

Quote from Richard Lindgren, Counsel for the Concerned Citizens:

“My clients fully agree with the Environmental Commissioner’s finding that the continued operation of the Richmond Landfill ‘poses an unjustified risk to the environment’,” said Rick Lindgren, the CELA lawyer who represents local citizens. “My clients’ concerns have been vindicated by the Environmental Commissioner’s report, and we look forward to timely action by the Ministry of the Environment to order immediate site closure, as recommended by the Environmental Commissioner.”

Quote from Margaret Walsh, Reeve of Tyendinaga Township:

“We are delighted to have this resounding support from the Commissioner. We look forward to the early closure and subsequent protection of our community and the environment”.

Quote from R. Donald Maracle, Chief of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte:

“The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte are most pleased with the Environmental Commissioner’s recommendation that the Richmond Landfill be closed.. The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte have been concerned about the transboundary environmental effects on the ground water, surface water and air quality. This site is not suitable for land filling due to thin soil conditions and a complex hydro- geological system. We hope that the MOE will immediately implement the ECO recommendations for closure and order adequate water monitoring and reporting program.”

In 2006, the Minister of the Environment rejected an expansion proposal at this site due to “significant environmental risks.” In spite of these risks, the site has remained open and the operator, Waste Management, is considering another dump expansion.

For more information:

Ian Munro (Concerned Citizens of Tyendinaga and Environs) 613-354-1828
Richard Lindgren (Canadian Environment Law Association) 613-385-1686
Chief R. Donald Maracle (Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte) 613-396-3424 ext. 106
Reeve Margaret Walsh (Tyendinaga Township) 613-396-6021