REPORT ON COUNCIL
June 9, 2003
Committee of the Whole 9:08 am 5:39 pm
Evening Meeting 7:07 pm 10:03 pm
All members of Council present.
PEER REVIEW OF SITE 41: Paul Dewaele of Dixon Hydrogeology presented the peer review of the technical plans for the Countys landfill site east of County Road 6 in Concession 2. He made a real effort to make the issues accessible, but even so it was tough going. Those capable of understanding the full report would do well to get a copy in the Township Offices. Concerned citizens might be interested in attending the next Committee of the Whole meeting when Council will consider the report and ask questions. What follows is what ordinary, untrained, observers were able to grasp.
The Report views the landfill as buildable, but says that additional research and planning and checking needs to be done in a number of key areas prior to construction.
At the moment, the plan is to build the landfill a quarter at a time. In the opinion of Dixon Hydrogeology, a better liner could be constructed if the landfill were developed in smaller chunks. A good liner is essential in the long term if the amount of leachate (contaminated water that emerges from the garbage or groundwater that comes in contact with the garbage) is to be minimized. Their concern is that there may be more water needing management than has been anticipated, and that this raises construction issues.
They had a number of additional concerns about leachate. The pipes that collect it need regular maintenance an aspect not adequately addressed in the plans. The capacity of Midlands sewage treatment plant needs to be examined, as the volume of the leachate may turn out to be more copious than expected.
They also raised questions about the effects of a long-term drought. The whole theory of this project something called a hydraulic trap -- depends on upwelling water pressure. If the pressure from the shallow aquifer diminishes then, there could be major problems (presumably contamination of the aquifer). So planning needs to be done for the possibility of dry conditions in the course of the next century.
They felt that the presence a deep aquifer under the property had to be considered in the planning of this project, yet there was no examination of its potential impacts.
Keith Sherman of the Severn Sound Environmental Association spoke about potential effects of the proposed landfill site on MacDonald Creek and ultimately the Wye River the possibility of leachate getting into the Creek if the pumps fail, the need to have excess ground water from the site enter the Creek at a different point than is currently planned and the importance of making sure that the temperature of that water is appropriate to the fish there. He also spoke about the need for sedimentation controls.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Ministry of Natural Resources are preparing separate assessments of the proposed designs for Site 41.