Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment Approvals Division has given the go ahead to dewater Site 41 — location of a controversial proposed solid waste landfill in Tiny Township, Simcoe County (north of Toronto, Ontario). The Permit to Take Water was issued by Director Ian Kerr and will allow the removal of 820,000 litres per day for 10 months in 2009. This is a critical step in preparing the site for landfill construction.
This final permit needed for the landfill, known as Simcoe County Landfill Site 41, is located south of Midland on vacant farmland several kilometres upstream of Wye Marsh, an important Ontario wetlands.
The Environmental Assessment Board originally turned down the landfill proposal in 1989, but subsequently approved it in 1995 after Simcoe County appealed the decision to the provincial cabinet.
Ray Millar, chair of the Site 41 Community Monitoring Committee, is appealing the ministry’s decision to the provincial ombudsman. He and other opponents are also hoping that Simcoe County council will reverse its stand before further construction goes ahead. Millar notes that a county-wide organics recycling program launched in October will effectively double Simcoe’s waste diversion rate, leaving it with 40 years of capacity available at the four landfills it already operates.