On May 9, 2006, a notice of proposal for an instrument was posted to the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry. Lafarge Canada Inc. (Lafarge), located in Loyalist, Ontario is seeking approval for an amendment to its A710137 cement kiln dust (CKD) landfill certificate of approval. The amendment consists of a management plan for the landfill for the next 14 years.
Lake Ontario Waterkeeper and Gord Downie (We) recommend that:
1. The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) extend the public study period for three months, until September 8, 2006.
In the alternative, we recommend that Lafarge's application for an amendment to its Certificate of Approval be rejected. The grounds for this recommendation are explained below.
On May 10th, 2006 Lake Ontario Waterkeeper (Waterkeeper) requested to see the documents available for public viewing regarding this notice at MOE's Environmental Assessment and Approvals Branch office in Toronto. At that time, we were told that the documents needed to be pre-screened before they could be released to the public. On May 16, 2006, the file was made available to Waterkeeper for the first time. As a result of this delay, the public study period was effectively reduced from 4 weeks to 3 weeks.
After examining the file, it became clear that essential information was missing, such as Lafarge's annual monitoring reports and the schedules from certificate A710137. On May 29th Waterkeeper requested the missing information from Craig Dobiech, Senior Environmental Officer at the MOE Kingston District Branch. Mr. Dobiech said that his office has this information and has agreed to provide it to Waterkeeper. As of June 8, 2006, these essential documents have not yet been released.
To our knowledge, neighbouring property owners and interested municipalities have not yet been provided with official notice of Lafarge's application for an amendment to its certificate of approval. To our knowledge, these stakeholders have also not received the relevant studies, supporting documents, monitoring reports, etc. that they would need to participate in this approvals process.
In light of (a) the short public study period, (b) the numerous relevant reports that were not included in the EBR file, (c) the lack of notice to local stakeholders, we do not believe that the public has been granted a fair opportunity to study Lafarge's request.
The grounds for our request are as follows:
A. The size and nature of Lafarge's landfill requires better scrutiny.
B. The current landfill design does not appear to be based on the most up-to-date science or best engineering practices.
C. Lafarge has been operating the northern portion of its landfill for three years without a proper management plan, a required component of the existing Certificate of Approval.
D. The clear relationship between Lafarge's CKD landfill and its Bath Alternate Fuels Project has been overlooked.
You can read our official submission in pdf format.