Environmental assessment needed, leaders say

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By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

How can the proposed expansion a Dresden landfill proceed without a provincial environmental assessment?

That’s what many are asking after plans by Mississauga-based York1 to revive the dormant site on Irish School Road were unveiled recently.

The plan for York1 is to accept non-hazardous waste to repurpose for the building industry 24/7.

The proposal means there could be an estimated 120 transport trucks travelling local roads around the clock. Concerns about noise and water pollution, stress on infrastructure and quality of life for nearby residents have been raised.

Because Lambton County isn’t too far up the road, The Chatham Voice reached out to its leadership to find out their views on the matter.

Lambton County Warden Kevin Marriott said he finds it “hard to believe” that the government could approve the necessary zoning changes without an environment assessment.

“There has to be an environmental assessment,” Marriott said. “Everything will hinge on that. But if that’s not the case I would hope we can arrange a meeting with the environment minister, even if it’s just by Zoom.”

Marriott pointed out that while the site is already approved for a landfill, that approval was granted more than 40 years ago.

“You can’t tell me this (current proposal) is anywhere near what they were considering back then,” he said.

Dawn-Euphemia Mayor Al Broad agrees there are still too many unknowns around the proposal.

“Right now, we have no idea of what exactly they have planned,” Broad said. “It’s definitely not a good idea. I’m as curious as anyone.”

Meanwhile, Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff said he’s happy to support what the community of Dresden wants, noting he’s dismayed by the “total lack of information” on the project.

“I’ve yet to talk to a single person about this in Dresden and the surrounding area who supports this and wants to see it,” Canniff said. “So that’s the will of the people and we need to respect that. I respect the opinion of the people of Dresden and I will fight accordingly.”

When asked about his views of the Dresden landfill expansion, Chatham-Kent–Leamington MPP Trevor Jones said he doesn’t normally comment on issues outside his riding and advised that the province would be reaching out to The Voice directly.

1 COMMENT

  1. Mayor Canniff respects the opinion of the folks in Dresden regarding the landfill matter, and will fight accordingly. Well he should. Will he show the same respect for the majority of residents of Chatham-Kent who do not support the city hall move to the Sears building? Not likely. This city hall issue is as rancid as the product at the landfill.

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