Napanee – After weeks of detailed technical evidence, the public hearing on the leaking Richmond Landfill Site will conclude next Monday when the parties present their final arguments to Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal. The Tribunal hearing will be held on June 22, 2015, starting at 10:00 a.m. in the Tyendinaga Township Recreation Hall, 363 McFarland Road, R.R. #1, Shannonville.
The hearing was initiated by an appeal filed in 2012 by the Concerned Citizens Committee of Tyendinaga and Environs (CCCTE), which raised concerns about the inadequacy of the landfill’s approval to safeguard the environment and local residents.
The landfill was closed in 2011, but it will continue to generate leachate (contaminated liquid) for decades. Recent investigations have confirmed that leachate from the Richmond Landfill Site has impacted the local groundwater, moved at least 500 metres onto neighbouring properties, and contaminated nearby residential water wells. This leachate plume contains numerous toxic chemicals, including 1,4-Dioxane, which is a potential carcinogen.
“All parties agree that leachate is migrating from the landfill and causing off-site groundwater impacts, but the precise extent of the leachate plume still remains unknown,” said Richard Lindgren, a CELA lawyer representing the CCCTE. “Therefore, my client will be asking the Tribunal to order the landfill owner to conduct further work to delineate the plume, and to develop better and more effective monitoring requirements and contingency plans.”
Aside from the CCCTE, the other hearing parties include: Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change; Waste Management of Canada Corporation; Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte; and Napanee Green Lights. A resident whose water supply well was contaminated by leachate is also participating in the Tribunal hearing.
“Our concerns about leachate contamination have been validated by recent groundwater investigations, but there is considerably more work to be done by Waste Management,” stated Mike Bossio, Chair of the CCCTE, who testified as a witness at the Tribunal hearing.
“The contamination from the Richmond Landfill has been of great concern to our community for many years, which is why we applied for and received full party status at the hearing,” said Chief R. Donald Maracle of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte. “Recent investigations have proven that leachate contaminants in groundwater have migrated beyond the landfill’s boundary. Groundwater and surface water flows from the Richmond Landfill towards and through the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory and many of our drinking water wells can be affected. It has been a very prolonged and expensive process trying to get Waste Management to take the steps necessary to safeguard human health and environmental quality in our community. In our view, this hearing must allow us to reach that goal.”
After considering the evidence and arguments at the hearing, the Tribunal will make a legally binding and enforceable decision regarding the Richmond Landfill Site.
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For more information, please contact:
Richard Lindgren (CELA) 613-385-1686;
Mike Bossio (CCCTE) 613-396-6784;
Chief R. Donald Maracle (MBQ) 613-396-3424