Clean Harbors plans to pile hazardous waste up

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Up it is.

Clean Harbors wants to expand its hazardous waste site on Petrolia Line vertically instead of building a new site south of the existing landfill.

Mike Parker, Clean Harbor’s director of environmental compliance, says the company will outline its preferred option for expansion at an Open House April 10.

Clean Harbors, the only hazardous landfill site in Ontario has been working on the expansion plan since 2009. It delayed the process in 2011 as it tried to deal with a leachate problem which lead to strong odors which made residents around the site sick.

Since the problem was resolved, the company has been working hard to move the expansion plans forward. Clean Harbors proposed piling the waste 20 feet up the existing berms several years ago, and Parker says every regulatory agency seems to agree it is the best option.

“If you were to look at the southern option we would have two landfills which could technically have a problem with,” says Parker. “Vertical expansion has less impact to ground water, less impact to surface water and less removal of agricultural land from production.”

While regulators have said the vertical expansion is the best option, Parker says residents around the Brigden site have “surprisingly” not had a lot to say about it. He’s hoping that changes at the April 10th meeting at the Brigden Fire Hall.

Once the public meeting is done, Parker says Clean Harbors will submit its final draft Environmental Assessment next month with the final document ready in August. There is then a 30-month period for the Ministry of the Environment to review the plan before the Minister decides whether or not the expansion can go ahead.

The timelines are tight and officials say it is critical to meet them.

Parker says Clean Harbors has gone from accepting 170,000 tonnes of waste in 2010 to just 58,000 tonnes this year. “We’re really trying to keep as much of the landfill space for the important waste streams until we can get through this process.”

 

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