June 21, 2004

PEI to review rules governing C&D disposal sites

Prince Edward Island's Environmental Advisory Council will conduct public consultations on requirements for construction and demolition (C&D) disposal sites, Environment and Energy Minister Jamie Ballem announced recently. The move follows a one-year moratorium placed earlier this spring on new C&D disposal sites to allow for a comprehensive review of the Environmental Protection Act waste resource management regulations governing these sites.

The Council has been asked to review the current regulations to ensure that they provide adequate protection for the environment and public interest and to consider future requirements for C&D sites in the province. "The regulations are relatively new. They came into effect in 2002 and, since then, I believe they have served to protect the environment. However, I also recognize there have been public concerns in some areas," said Ballem. "So we want to take a good look at the regulations and hear from Islanders to find out how they think these sites should be governed."

The Council subcommittee conducting the review will meet with relevant interest groups during the summer, including site owners and applicants, contractors, and community groups. In September, the subcommittee will host three public meetings, with dates and locations to be announced in late summer. The Environmental Advisory Council will report its findings to the Minister of Environment and Energy by the end of the year.

The subcommittee carrying out the review is co-chaired by Summerside lawyer Sherra Profit and Elmer MacDonald, a potato producer from Augustine Cove. Other members are Stan Campbell, president of the Federation of Prince Edward Island Municipalities; retired teacher Rudy Croken of Kensington; and Leslie Hartling, a graduate student at the University of Prince Edward Island. Environment and Energy department staff will provide technical support to the group.

C&D disposal sites are intended to accept debris defined under the regulations as inert, non-hazardous materials. This includes soil, asphalt, brick, mortar, drywall, plaster, cellulose, fibreglass fibres, gyproc, and lumber and wood that is not chemically treated.

The waste resource management regulations require C&D sites to meet specific design and operational requirements before they are approved, and owners must apply annually to the Department of Environment and Energy for an operating permit. The requirements address matters such as setbacks from homes; groundwater monitoring; site security; and odour, dust and noise control.

Since 2002, five C&D sites have been approved: Kings County Construction, in Brudenell; Maintenance Services, in Hazelbrook; Waugh's Construction, in Kelvin Grove; East Prince Waste Management Facility, in Wellington Centre; and G&P Trucking and Construction, in St. Peter's. In addition, Toomb's Plumbing & Heating, in St. Ann's has been issued a conditional permit, with final approval expected shortly.

The regulations may be viewed on-line at www.gov.pe.ca/law/regulations. More information on the review is available from the Department of Environment and Energy, 902/569-7746.

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