August 13, 2007

EA approved for proposed Ottawa area landfill expansion

Ontario Environment Minister Laurel Broten has approved an environmental assessment (EA) prepared by Waste Services for its proposed expansion of the Navan Road landfill in Ottawa's east end. The EA approval is subject to several conditions aimed at enhancing protection of the Mer Bleue Bog; they also reflect the environmental safeguards outlined in an agreement reached earlier this year between Waste Services and a local environmental group, Friends of the Mer Bleue Bog.

The binding agreement, which was endorsed by Ottawa city council, calls for the installation of monitoring wells and dust and odour controls, and the creation of a public advisory committee. There is also a requirement to install a gas collection system, which will reduce the landfill's greenhouse gas emissions and help to control odours.

The proposed expansion would extend the landfill's existing 31.9-hectare (ha) footprint eastward by another 8.5 ha, increasing the site's total capacity by an estimated 3.6 million cubic metres. The site would continue to accept 234,750 tonnes per year of solid non-hazardous industrial, commercial and institutional (IC & I) waste, including construction and demolition waste. Its service area will be restricted to Ontario (excluding the city of Toronto) and Quebec's Outaouais region. Waste diversion activities related to the recovery of metal for recycling and wood for chipping will continue at the site.

The proposed expansion would extend the landfill's lifespan by approximately 11 years beyond its currently forecast closure date of 2011. Waste Services has committed to Friends of the Mer Bleue Bog that no further expansion of the site will occur. The project must now undergo review under the Environmental Protection Act and the Ontario Water Resources Act.

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