November 12, 2007

Environmental Commissioner to intervene in Lafarge's appeal of ERT decision

TORONTO, ONT-The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, Gord Miller, said his office will be applying to intervene in a case that he believes will have long-lasting impacts on future environmental decision-making in the province. Lafarge is seeking to quash an April 2007 decision of the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) which allowed environmental groups to appeal its plan to test burn alternative fuels in Bath, Ontario. The company has suggested that the ERT made an error when it decided that the Ministry of Environment (MOE) Statement of Environmental Values is part of the "relevant law and ...government policies" developed to guide ministry decision-making. Miller said his office "has consistently taken the position that MOE officials and staff are required to consider the MOE's Statement of Environmental Values when they make decisions on approvals such as those that were granted to Lafarge." His decision to intervene in the action, he said, is rooted in serious concerns about the implications of Lafarge's arguments for MOE's decision-making on approvals.

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