News

Oxford MPP sends letter to new environment minister sharing concerns over proposed Beachville dump

By Bruce Chessell, Woodstock Sentinel-Review

The former site of Carmeuse Lime's quarry in Beachville where Walker's Environmental Group has proposed a new landfill site.
RON THOMSON/WOODSTOCK SENTINEL-REVIEW/QMI AGENCY/ JUNE 19 2012

The former site of Carmeuse Lime's quarry in Beachville where Walker's Environmental Group has proposed a new landfill site. RON THOMSON/WOODSTOCK SENTINEL-REVIEW/QMI AGENCY/ JUNE 19 2012

Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman wants the new Minister of the Environment and Climate Change to know that there are local concerns surrounding the proposed Beachville landfill.

The local politician sent a letter to minister Chris Ballard on Monday, the same day he took the environment minister position from Glen Murray.

Hardeman's letter summarizes the concerns of risk that the landfill poses to local water and mentions that the community has sent "thousands and thousands" of letters to the MOE about these fears.

"We've been working with the people of OPAL (Oxford People Against the Landfill) and we've sent a great number of letters to the now former Minister of the Environment and Climate Change," the MPP said. "We want to make sure that during the changing of the guard that the minister is aware of the severity of these concerns and to make sure that it doesn't get swept under the carpet."

The proposal for the landfill was first brought forward five years ago in 2012 and since then there has been passionate opposition within Oxford County against the dump, leading to the creation of OPAL.

Progress has been made thought, as Walker environmental has started work with planning aspects such as the landfill's placement, design, haul routes, leachate treatment and gas management, holding a number of public meetings late last year and as of right now Walker believes construction of the landfill could begin in 2020, becoming operational two years after that.

"The ministry is committed to supporting sustainable, environmentally responsible options for managing waste and will ensure that both the benefits and potential environmental effects of this project are carefully studied and comprehensively assessed before any final decisions are made," read a statement from the MOE to the sentinel-Review.

The statement continued by saying that in March of last year the ministry approved an amended terms of Reference (TOR) for the landfill following a comprehensive analysis, adding that the approval of the tOR does not mean the full project has been approved. according to the MOE, the amended TOR provides Walker with a work plan that must be followed in preparation of an environmental assessment (EA).

"In preparing the EA, Walker will be required to consult with the public, stakeholders, indigenous communities, municipalities and government reviewers," the MOE statement said. "They will all be provided with an opportunity to review and comment on the draft and final EA documentation."

bchessell@postmedia.com