At a recent hearing before the Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Ontario Waste Management Association (OWMA) was granted "intervener status" in the Sutcliffe et al court decision appeal involving the Richmond landfill expansion and the Environmental Assessment Act.
According to the OWMA, the court decision has introduced paralyzing "uncertainty" to the EA Act process to the point where all current landfill expansions and proposals in process are being held in abeyance and some previous approvals for landfill facilities may be in jeopardy.
The intervention of OWMA represents the broad interest of private sector waste management companies and was opposed by an environmental activist group. As a result, arguments from all parties were heard by the Chief Justice on March 23rd, 2004 following which the Chief Justice granted OWMA intervener status in the form of "friend of the court." This status will allow OWMA to participate fully in the appeal proceedings scheduled for June 28th, 2004.
The decision regarding the appeal will have consequences to both future landfill capacity approval and some existing landfill approvals. In support of OWMA’s involvement and successful efforts to acquire intervener status, several documents have been prepared by OWMA legal counsel that may be of interest to OWMA members. The two documents are a legal affidavit supporting OWMA’s request for intervener status and a legal factum filed with the Court of Appeal in support of OWMA arguments at the actual appeal hearing. Both these documents are posted and available for review or downloading at www.owma.org
In addition, the Ontario Attorney General’s office is also participating as an intervener to address legislative issues related to "ministerial discretion." A copy of the Attorney General’s factum is also available on the OWMA website. OWMA’s involvement in the Court of Appeal case is occurring in parallel with ongoing discussions with the staff of the environment minister to develop a long-term and practical resolution to existing EA Act issues associated with private sector projects.
Contact OWMA Executive Director Rob Cook at 905-791-9500 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org