A Brigden man wants Lambton County council to do something about the proposed expansion of Clean Harbors.
The owners of the hazardous waste facility on Petrolia Line are waiting for Ministry of the Environment approval for an expansion which would allow the company to continue accepting waste for another 20 years.
But some politicians, including Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley, voiced concern about the move after the company began accepting waste from one of the worst environmental disasters in the world – Love Canal.
After a public outcry, the company turned the waste away. But Bradley wanted a full hearing of what Clean Harbors is doing at the site. So Wednesday, Clean Harbors officials along with the MOE and members of the public were invited to Lambton County council to talk about the expansion. Jim Stenton, a long-time opponent of the landfill, was one of the people slated to be on hand. He provided his speaking notes to The Independent before the public meeting.
“We are concerned about leaks into the fresh water supply of the great lakes basin. Clean Harbors might as well be located in the centre of Lake Huron as the outfall from this facility goes to the great lakes basin. Surface water goes to the north from this facility to the perch creek drain and into Lake Huron above the water intake for Pt Edward which supplies water to almost all of this area,” says Stenton.
“We are concerned about the potential for water pollution into the drinking water of 40 million people,” he adds.
Stenton wants St. Clair Township to “tear up their willing host agreement” if not legally then as a sign of “visible opposition. And he says the township shouldn’t take tipping fees anymore because it “could result in ownership and responsibly later when Clean Harbors leaves with all their money in their pockets.”
Stenton says the county should ask the Ministry of the Environment to station a qualified employee at the site. And he says the bond the company posts should not be $5 million but $500 million.
“If Clean Harbors starts to leak, it is physically impossible even if you had the money, to correct the problem in any timely manor, assuming you know what the problem was, and if it starts to burn, firefighters would not even know what they are fighting. There is danger to the community in this mass build up.”