Leachate Release at WM Richmond Landfill

January 27 | Posted by Jeff | The Leaky Land Blog, Uncategorized

Leachate truck smallOn 20 January 2020, Waste Management (WM) issued a Notice to Residents describing a deliberate leachate release which occurred nearly a week earlier on 14 January at the Richmond Landfill site.

The notice reported that a driver transporting leachate from the landfill to a temporary storage lagoon was instructed by WM staff to dump the load of approximately 3500 gallons (16,000 liters) in a wooded area on the property. This decision was taken because it was feared the vehicle would become stuck in the soft ground while en route to the lagoon.

This incident is of grave concern for the following reasons:

• The dumping occurred close to the headwaters of Marysville creek which runs through Tyendinaga Township and onto Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.
• Leachate contamination of the creek would threaten private wells, wildlife, livestock and residents.
• WM did not follow the compulsory Public Notification Plan (PNP) ordered by Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal decision (Case Number 12-033 dated 24 December 2015) putting residents and local communities at risk. (Note: the PNP requires reporting to the Ministry, local officials and the public within 36 hours of the event, whereas this incident was not reported for nearly a week.)

The concerned citizens have repeatedly recommended that the practice of dumping leachate in a storage lagoon on the Richmond Landfill property be stopped. This practice began in 2017 and has been assessed by an independent expert to be unsafe because the lagoon is leaking directly into the groundwater and threatening Marysville creek. This incident confirms that this unsafe practice is continuing.

Waste Management Notice to Residents can be found at:


ERT Decision can be found at:


Public Notification Plan can be found at: https://www.dropbox.com/s/fivcm2ahf4x6i9b/Public%20Notification%20Plan%20Feb%202013.pdf?dl=0

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