Media Release: Mohawks, Municipality, and Residents Demand that Ontario Reject Proposed Environmental Assessment of Mega-Dump Proposal

Media Release

The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, Tyendinaga Township, and numerous concerned citizens have filed written submissions demanding that the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) reject the environmental assessment (EA) process that has been proposed by Waste Management in relation to its plan to establish a new mega-dump beside its Richmond Landfill near Napanee.

Waste Management is applying for environmental approvals to construct the Beechwood Road Environmental Centre (BREC), which will feature a new landfill to accept 8 million tonnes of municipal waste over 20 years. As the first step under the EA Act, Waste Management recently proposed Terms of Reference (ToR) to guide the conduct and content of the EA process.

“In our opinion, the proposed ToR are fundamentally flawed, excessively narrow, exclude too many key questions, and will not result in an EA that is consistent with the public interest or the purpose of the Environmental Assessment Act,” stated Richard Lindgren, a CELA lawyer who represents local residents.

During the 30 day public comment period on the proposed ToR, approximately 1,700 people signed, delivered, faxed, or emailed written comments to the MOE to object to the proposed EA process and the BREC landfill.

“The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte are downstream of the proposed BREC landfill, and our environment is at risk of negative transboundary impacts from this facility if constructed,” stated Chief R. Donald Maracle. “Ontario’s Minister of the Environment must reject the proposed ToR for the BREC landfill, not only to protect our environment and people, but also to properly discharge the Crown’s fiduciary obligations to the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte. The Minister has a direct duty to consult our community and to accommodate our concerns, and he cannot delegate this duty to Waste Management. The Minister must recognize that the honour of the Crown is at stake, and for this reason as well he must reject Waste Management’s new application.”

In 2006, in light of various environmental concerns, Ontario’s Minister of the Environment refused to approve Waste Management’s previous attempt to expand the Richmond Landfill. In 2009, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario recommended the immediate closure of Richmond Landfill for environmental reasons. In 2010, the MOE amended the site licence to require Waste Management to cover and close the Richmond Landfill, commencing with closing Phase 1 of the landfill by September 30, 2010.

For more information, please contact:

Chief R. Donald Maracle (613-396-3424)
Reeve Margaret Walsh, Tyendinaga Township (613-396-6021)
Richard Lindgren (613-385-1686)