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Walker Moving Forward With the EA Assessment

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Walker Environment Group is moving ahead with the Environment Assessment process for its proposed Southwestern Landfill.

ZORRA TOWNSHIP - Walker Environment Group is moving ahead with the Environment Assessment process for its proposed Southwestern Landfill.

The Landfill is in jeopardy with Bill 197, which gives municipalities a say in where a Landfill is located within 3.5 kilometres of municipality. This means the proposed site for the Southwestern Landfill would need approval from the Town of Ingersoll, South-West Oxford and Zorra Township. 

Walker is moving forward with the EA assessment, adhering to new legislative requirements in Bill 197, recently passed by the Ontario government. 

Project Director Darren Fry says they want to hear from residents and are still hopeful the project can move forward. 

"We believe this is the best way to answer any questions members of the community may have, address their concerns and help secure the support of the residents of Zorra, Ingersoll and Southwest Oxford for the project. These have always been and continue to be the priority for Walker." 

Bill 197, The COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, changes the EA process for landfill projects, requiring proponents to secure approval of all municipal councils within a distance of 3.5 kilometres from a proposed landfill site.

Walker, which released its draft EA report for the Southwestern Landfill proposal on March 2, 2020, will continue with the EA process under the revamped rules, including hosting a number of community consultations in the weeks ahead. Details will be posted at walkerea.com.

Fry says that Walker will also respond to any questions or concerns identified in the municipalities peer review of the draft EA report that has been undertaken as part of this process. 

"We will continue to engage openly and transparently with residents and municipalities as we have since the inception of this project."

The draft EA report is a compilation of all of the scientific research and community engagement that has been completed over the past eight years to help the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks assess the merits of the proposal. 

The report provides comprehensive findings of technical studies examining potential effects of the proposed landfill operation on the environment and surrounding community. It also identifies mitigation measures that would be undertaken to eliminate or reduce any potential impacts. 

Walker initially opened public consultations on the draft EA when it was released in early March but put them on hold later that month as the global COVID-19 pandemic intensified and physical distancing restrictions were enacted. Walker reopened the consultation period on June 3rd and hosted a virtual open house on June 17th. The public consultation period will be extended by an additional two weeks until September 11th.   

Digital copies of the draft EA report are available here. Walker encourages members of the public and stakeholders to read the report and provide feedback. 

Community members can provide input in a number of ways:

- Contact Walker's Ingersoll office at info@walkerea.com or by phone 1 (855) 392-5537 to speak with a Walker representative.

- Schedule an appointment with a Walker representative to discuss the draft EA. 

- Submit comments or questions through info@walkerea.com.

- Subscribe to Walker's Southwestern Landfill project website here or follow it on Facebook here to be notified of future public events.

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