The Province of Ontario has approved the environmental assessment for the proposed expansion of a Township of Warwick landfill with strict conditions to protect human health and the environment. The Ministry of the Environment’s scientific and technical experts have established conditions for the expansion which will protect the environment as well as the health and safety of the community. These conditions include:
— ongoing and comprehensive oversight of the landfill’s design and operation;
— A ministry environmental inspector dedicated to reporting on the performance of this landfill;
— An extensive air quality monitoring program to be undertaken by the site’s operator;
— Restrictions to prevent leachate from being discharged to any surface water, including local waterways;
— Road improvements to protect road safety;
— A buffer of evergreen and deciduous trees to be planted around the site’s perimeter.
The proposal, from Waste Management of Canada, was subjected to a lengthy and thorough public consultation process through the environmental assessment. Many of the conditions imposed by the ministry came about as a direct result of consultations with the public, government officials and First Nations communities.
In addition, the company must continue the operation of the public liaison committee and meet regularly with members of the community to update people on the expansion and provide for a free exchange of information.
The public liaison committee will have an opportunity to review and comment on the company’s design and operations plan, which will provide additional design features to protect human health and the environment. The ministry must still approve the plan before construction can begin.
Since 1991, the Warwick landfill has accepted industrial, commercial and institutional (IC&I) waste as well as municipal waste from local communities. It’s expected to reach capacity in 2010. The proposed expansion would provide Ontario communities with greater access to safe, long-term waste capacity.