February 2, 2004

Municipality seeks protective measures relating to potential landfill expansion

MONTREAL, QUE-Jean-Marc Robitaille, the mayor of Terrebonne, near Montreal, has written to both Quebec Environment Minister Thomas Mulcair and to GÈrald Tremblay, president of the Metropolitan Community of Montreal (CMM), listing his community's requirements for protective measures in the event that approval is granted for an expansion of Browning-Ferris Industries' Lachenaie landfill. In his letter to Mulcair, Robitaille said the approval certificate should, at a minimum, stipulate measures such as limits on the maximum height of disposal cells, effective means of controlling odours, noise and seagulls, as recommended by the Office of Public Hearings on the Environment (BAPE). Terrebonne is also seeking implementation of a system of compensation for municipalities adjacent to landfills. Robitaille has further requested that the CMM establish a buffer zone around the BFI landfill in the event of the expansion approval. He said his municipality agrees with the BAPE that a buffer zone around the expanded site should be larger than the maximum 150 metres required under provincial regulation, in order to integrate the facility into the surrounding area. Moreover, Robitaille said responsibility for such a zone should rest with the CMM, as a neutral agency, rather than with BFI. He has asked the CMM to use its authority to determine the extent of the buffer zone, proceed with the acquisition of lands for this purpose, and to guarantee the maintenance of forest cover.
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