PW to ask for environmental screen

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Heather Wright/The Independent

Developers in Plympton-Wyoming will have another step to getting ready to build.

The municipality will be asking for preliminary Environment Screening Assessment.

Ken Melanson, the director of planning with the County of Lambton, recently told town council the province has required the screening tests since 2006. It’s a simple process, he says, with developers checking to see there were not any gas stations or the possibilities of contaminants in the soil.

But Plympton-Wyoming doesn’t always require developers to provide one.

Neither Melanson nor Carolyn Tripp, the CAO of Plympton-Wyoming and a former planner, can say exactly how often the process was skipped. Both told The Independent they didn’t know how many were done or omitted.

Melanson added the ESA requirement was“inconsistently applied and so there are subdivisions where it was provided and some where it was not.”

Council agreed to follow the provincial planning rules to ask for the assessment.

It’s not clear what would happen if a homeowner found an environmental problem in a subdivision which had not had the assessment, however Melanson says the screening is done, in part, for liability reasons.

Councillor Tim Wilkins suggested this was just one more rule and cost for developers. “What we got that’s working, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?”