Last week, Lafarge Canada and the Ministry of the Environment appeared in Ontario Divisional Court in an effort to halt an Environmental Review Tribunal hearing into plans to burn tires, plastic and other waste in a cement kiln near Kingston, Ontario.
Nearly one year ago, the Tribunal granted Clean Air Bath, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper and Gord Downie, Loyalist Environmental Coalition, and The Tragically Hip, leave to appeal the Ministry of the Environment's decision decision to allow Lafarge to proceed with its "alternative fuels" plan to burn tires, non-recyclable plastics, and bone meal pellets at its cement kiln in Bath, ON. The appeal takes the form of an independent public hearing. The public, for the first time in the licensing process, becomes a full partner in decision-making that will influence the future health of Lake Ontario.
During the tribunal hearing, expert evidence from both sides is presented under oath and openly evaluated by all parties. The community of Bath has an opportunity to present concerns about the potential environmental and health impacts incurred from the massive tire-burning scheme. The project is scrutinized. The permits, if issued, would contain tough, enforceable conditions that protect air and water. This is the process that the Ministry of the Enviornment and Lafarge have asked the court to halt, through a process known as Judicial Review.
The Divisional Court's decision is forthcoming. Meanwhile, the tribunal hearing is still scheduled to begin September 22, 2008 in Odessa, ON.
Listen to Living at the Barricades.
This week on Living At the Barricades, a behind the scenes look at the court case, with contributions from Rick Lindgren, counsel for Waterkeeper and Gord Downie, and Corinna Dally-Starna of Clean Air Bath.