Waste Management of Canada Corporation has withdrawn its environmental assessment for its proposed Richmond landfill expansion in Eastern Ontario.
The company’s decision follows the government’s recent review which concluded that “the proposed undertaking not be considered for approval due to the public health and environmental concerns identified by the ministry, the Government Review team, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte and the public.”
The company remains optimistic that the expansion can go ahead in future when the ministry releases revised Terms of Reference.
The Richmond landfill site is located on a highly complex subsurface environment where area residents use groundwater as a source of drinking water and is therefore vulnerable to contamination. The Ministry of the Environment’s review found that the EA failed to:
Provide for a viable leachate control option that would protect water;
Adequately describe groundwater baseline conditions;
Provide sufficient information to determine whether or not the project could proceed without having serious transboundary environmental impacts.
The company’s decision to withdraw its environmental assessment is allowable under the Environmental Assessment Act.
“Protecting the environment is my number one priority,” Environment Minister Broten said. “The EA Act allows me to impose conditions on the withdrawal. I will look at possible conditions with the environment and public health in mind.”
According to Waste Management spokesperson Wes Muir, withdrawal of the application is not the end of the process.”We have withdrawn our proposed environmental assessment for the Richmond Landfill expansion project,” Muir says. “Since the submission of our EA there have been a number of issues raised by the ministry regarding air quality and hydrogeology. To address these issues, we conducted additional testing and submitted this information to the ministry.”The ministry advised that it would be unable to take this information into consideration unless we withdrew and submit an EA that included this new information.”We are confident that our project will be protective of the environment and is in the provincial interest. We look forward to working with the ministry and other stakeholders in moving this much needed infrastructure project forward.”Contact John Steele, Ministry of the Environment, at 416-314-6666.