More opposition to York1 plan

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By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Environment Defence Canada is terming the province’s call for a comprehensive environmental assessment of York1’s proposed landfill expansion near Dresden a “good first step.”

However, the environmental advocacy non-profit emphasizes it’s not enough.

The statement, issued March 20 by executive director Tim Gray, cites the vulnerability of the Sydenham River watershed and the impact of 700 trucks a day, seven days a week as major reasons why the project should be nixed.

“The presence of unique species at risk in the area and significant risks to air and water quality, coupled with a proposal that is out of scale and incompatible with the local community, leaves only one option moving forward: That the Ontario government pulls the plug on the proposal,” the statement reads.

Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks Andrea Khanjin announced the environmental assessment via X, formerly Twitter, on March 15. The minister’s post came on the heels of comments made by Premier Doug Ford at a Windsor infrastructure funding announcement March 11. Ford stated publicly he had no knowledge of the project, adding that if the people of Dresden didn’t want the project, it wouldn’t happen.

Environment Defence Canada’s reaction is the latest wrinkle in a controversy-plagued proposal by GTA-based York1 to revive a dormant landfill north of town, expand its capacity, and construct a regenerative recycling facility.

The York1 proposal has created a tsunami of public opposition, mobilizing citizens to join forces to fight the proposal.

York1 currently has two applications before the Environment Registry of Canada to expand the scope of operation at the Irish School Road property.

It appears that Chatham-Kent council is also hopeful the project will be halted. At the March 18 council meeting, Mayor Darrin Canniff reiterated Ford’s statement that the project would not go forward in the face of community opposition.

North Kent Coun. Jamie McGrail also stated that the project is getting attention from the federal government. McGrail unveiled a letter from Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MP Liane Rood, saying she stands with Dresden on the issue.

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