January 8, 2007

EA approval granted for Niagara Waste Systems' proposed landfill expansion

Ontario Environment Minister Laurel Broten recently granted environmental assessment approval for the proposed Niagara Waste Systems landfill expansion in Niagara Region, on Thorold Townline Road near Niagara Falls. The approval is subject to a number of conditions.

The landfill has been approved to receive up to 850,000 tonnes of waste per year, and is approved to accept municipal solid waste. Approximately 100,000 tonnes of the site's approved capacity must be reserved annually for the region's municipal waste. The approval will help meet the industrial, commercial and institution (IC&I) sector demand for disposal capacity. Approximately four million tonnes of IC&I waste goes to landfills in Ontario each year. About three-quarters of the waste received by private landfills comes from the IC&I sectors.

Conditions of the environmental approval specify that:

*The proponent must undertake a study to assess potential water quality changes to the Welland Canal, including mitigation measures. This study must be completed before the proponent can proceed to seek further technical approvals.

*A Ministry of Environment inspector will be on site to monitor the landfill operations. The inspector's monitoring efforts will increase as the landfill becomes larger.

*Niagara Waste Systems must submit annual environmental assessment compliance reports to the Ministry to demonstrate how it fulfilled its commitments to mitigation measures and conditions of approval.

*A public liaison committee, which has been in place since 1994, will continue to operate in order to provide a forum for the exchange of information about both the existing and the new landfill.

The landfill expansion proposal must still undergo review and receive approval under the Environmental Protection Act and Ontario Water Resources Act. The project would be carried out at Niagara Waste Systems' depleted south quarry next to its existing landfill, which has about three more years of capacity. The plan calls for the landfill to be constructed in four main stages, roughly of similar capacity and duration. Each stage will be rehabilitated with soil cover and vegetation as it reaches its capacity.

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