(April 5, 2007: Toronto) Environmental groups and Bath-area residents won an opportunity to appeal approvals for the Lafarge Alternative Fuels Project issued by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment on December 21, 2006.
The province's Environmental Review Tribunal granted leave-to-appeal yesterday to Clean Air Bath, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper and Gord Downie, Loyalist Environmental Coalition, and The Tragically Hip. The Tribunal granted leave after finding good reason to believe that the Ministry of the Environment's decision was "unreasonable" and "could result in significant harm to the environment."
"The Environmental Review Tribunal's decision is a milestone. An independent tribunal has affirmed in a legal decision what every citizen knows in his heart local communities have a lot to contribute to the decision-making process," says Mark Mattson, Waterkeeper and President of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper.
"This strongly-worded decision is a great victory for our community," says Martin Hauschild of Loyalist Environmental Coalition. "The decision to allow our appeal to proceed finally validates our concerns about what impact burning tires and waste in a 35-year old cement kiln will have on our health and local environment."
"The decision by the ERT has completely validated the concerns voiced by the people of this community. We have a renewed faith in the system and are strongly committed to continuing this process to ensure the safety of our health and the environment," says Susan Quinton of Clean Air Bath.
Clean Air Bath, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, Loyalist Environmental Coalition, and The Tragically Hip now have fifteen days to file our Notice of Appeal. The groups will be represented by Rick Lindgren of the Canadian Environmental Law Association, Rob Wright of Sierra Legal, and noted environmental lawyer Joseph Castrilli.
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For more information, contact:
Martin Hauschild, Loyalist Environmental Coalition
Mark Mattson, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper
416.861.1237 or 416.666.8961 (cell)
Susan Quinton, Clean Air Bath
Environmental Review Tribunal's Test for Granting Leave to Appeal
"Section 41 of the EBR establishes a two-pronged test for leave to appeal. Section 41 states:
Leave to appeal a decision shall not be granted unless it appears to the appellate body that,
(a) there is good reason to believe that no reasonable person, having regard to the relevant law and to any government policies developed to guide decisions of that kind, could have made the decision; and
(b) the decision in respect of which an appeal is sought could result in significant harm to the environment."