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OWMA intervenes in appeal, concerned about lack of landfills

The Ontario Waste Management Association (OWMA) is seeking intervener status before an Ontario appeals court that i...


The Ontario Waste Management Association (OWMA) is seeking intervener status before an Ontario appeals court that is evaluating a recent legal development in the province that may make it difficult for private sector companies to build or expand landfills and other waste disposal infrastructure.

Ontario’s Environmental Assessment Act was successfully challenged by the Canadian Institute of Environmental Law and Policy (CIELAP) and the ability was eliminated for the Minister of the Environment to "focus" EA terms of reference (a "scoped" EA). Private sector EA projects must now consider need and alternatives to projects a concept formerly reserved for public sector projects.

The OWMA intervention will seek to support the EA Act and scoping of assessments. According to the OWMA, "An effective and predictable EA process is fundamental to addressing the province’s landfill disposal capacity crisis and facilitating private sector investment in disposal transfer and diversion facilities."

The matter is important, says the OWMA, because of a diminishing landfill capacity in Ontario. For example, although results have not been officially released, the OWMA has learned there were no respondents to a recent request from the City of Toronto for up to 180 days of emergency disposal capacity in Ontario for the city’s waste. The RFP was the result of direction from the environment minister to develop an in-province contingency for landfill disposal in case of potential disruptions or closure of the U.S. border (i.e., denial of access to landfills in Michigan).

OWMA will continue to advocate the need for both new landfill capacity and accessibility to existing landfill capacity in the province, and is considering the terms of reference for a research study on the private sector management of IC & I Waste.

For more information, contact Rob Cook at 905-791-9500 or email rcook@owma.org


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