EA needed for Dresden dump site: Khanjin

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Dresden-area residents are very visibly showing their disdain for plans to establish a landfill/recycling facility near their community.

By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Ontario’s Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks has weighed in on the controversial proposal to expand services at a landfill north of Dresden.

In a tweet posted March 15 on X, (formerly Twitter), Minister Andrea Khanjin stated she will be “taking steps to require this project to complete a comprehensive environmental assessment under the Environmental Assessment Act.”

In the post, Khanjin said that in recent weeks she’s heard concerns from the community and municipality regarding York1’s proposal to reopen and expand a dormant landfill.

In the comment, Khanjin acknowledged the site on Irish School Road was established more than 40 years ago, prior to Ontario’s requirement that landfills must undergo an environmental assessment. In keeping with the process that any other landfill “would be required to undergo today,” she’ll seek an assessment.

Dresden C.A.R.E.D. (Citizens Against Reckless Environmental Disposal) executive member Stefan Premdas said the group is “encouraged” by Khanjin’s comments that the government will “look at the file to examine the human, environmental and employment costs that a full-on environmental assessment would flesh out.

“In small towns like Dresden, we know how to come together for our community,” Premdas said.

If granted, a pair of applications by GTA-based York1 will see the landfill space enlarged, as well as the construction of a regenerative recycling facility and outdoor storage for materials and soil. The company is also proposing a stormwater management plan that would see the construction of ponds on the property.

The site proposal would see construction waste and soil trucked to the facility, with a goal of repurposing some of the waste to create new construction materials. 

York1 is asking for permission to operate the facility 24-7, allowing the daily intake of waste up to 6,000 tonnes per day. Daily traffic to the facility has been estimated to be as high as 700 trucks per day.

The company currently has two applications before the Environmental Registry of Ontario, prompting citizens and local government to speak up.

Along with a huge wave of opposition from residents, the Municipality of Chatham-Kent is making its concerns known to senior government. A letter asking the province to reject the proposal has been sent by Mayor Darrin Canniff on the municipality’s behalf.

As well, the municipality has forwarded a 26-page submission to the MECP regarding the first application, outlining the need for the province to conduct an environmental assessment.

According to municipal staff, another submission is being prepared for the second application, which sees its public comment period end April 11.

Dresden C.A.R.E.D. is gearing up for two public meetings on the issue. The first will be held April 4 at the Dresden Czech Hall from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The second is slated for April 11 at the Ken Houston Memorial Agricultural Centre from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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