Behind the Lines – First Public MeetingMay 30 | Posted by Jeff | The Leaky Land Blog
What a great event we had at the high school last week. So many Napanee residents showed their real concern for what is happening to them. The facts were presented. There was an opportunity for questions in an open forum. There is a massive push-back under way.
The volunteer organization (the CCCTE) has been growing in numbers and strength. A dedicated group of talented people have rallied to this important cause. If you care about the environment here is something that you can DO about it.
It is so great to be joined by the new, assertive and creative members. Many of us have been fighting the dump expansion for a decade or more. When we go to meetings with the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) or Waste Management we often know more about the file than anyone else in the room.
Since the end of 2006 when the Environment Minister denied the first expansion proposal, our main focus was on having the Richmond Dump ordered closed (which happened in 2011) and reviewing the monitoring plans after it closed. Waste Management dragged it’s feet on closure by reducing the flow of garbage to a trickle and have put forward a deficient monitoring plan. In 2010 the MOE finally ordered closure. We have retained expert advice to make specific recommendations on how to improve the monitoring and these were ignored.
We have decided to use Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal to challenge this monitoring plan. You can read about the many concerns we have in documents posted here. The Tribunal has agreed with us that there is serious risk of harm to the environment and will hear the case in the Napanee Area. Hearings will be open to the public. The first public hearing is scheduled for June 25 at 10:00am in the Selby Community Hall.
We also have to deal with a new proposal for a mega-dump at the same site. (Please read and sign our related petition.) Given the overwhelming scientific opinion that document the risks it is hard to believe they think they can get away with it. A billion dollar business opportunity distorts the corporate mind. Waste Management is encouraging people to trade the long term health and reputation of Napanee for short term financial gains. In addition to the health risks, there is a real question about how these perceived financial gains will hold up. Will people and businesses still want to move here? Will real estate values keep pace?
Where is the MOE in all of this? Well we wonder the same thing. The MOE scientists tell us they share our concerns about the risks and yet their management issued approval of the deficient monitoring plan. There is no question that the MOE staff are over worked. We believe that our vigilance will lead the MOE to make the right decisions about the future of the Napanee dump. There are many people working hard to make that happen. Please join us by becoming a member of the CCCTE. Don’t take anything for granted.
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