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Draft EA Assessment Available to the Public

The draft Environmental Assessment report from Walker Environmental for the proposed Southwestern Landfill in the Township of Zorra is now available for public consumption.

INGERSOLL - The draft Environmental Assessment report for the proposed Southwestern Landfill in the Township of Zorra is now available for public consumption.

Walker Environmental released the EA report today on their web site. According to a press release, here are the key findings in the study:

- Drinking water will not be impacted as a result of building and operating the proposed landfill.  Using the Ministry’s double composite liner and leachate collection system ensures that groundwater and surface water will be protected.
- Air emissions from all landfill sources (and landfill traffic) will meet provincial standards. 
- Greenhouse gas emissions would reduce significantly by 6 to 8 million tonnes as the proposed landfill would help reduce waste transport to Michigan. This is equivalent to taking 30,000 cars off the road every year. 
- By locating the landfill in a former quarry, natural features such as agricultural lands, watercourses, woodlands and wetlands will not be displaced.
- Most residents, people driving by the site, or people using public spaces will not be able to see the landfill. Berms or natural vegetation will be used to minimize views.
- The proposal would represent a significant investment in the community that will support the growth of existing and new businesses.
- The proposal will have no impact on archaeology, cultural heritage, ecology or land uses.

The proposed landfill would accept up to 850,000 tonnes of solid, non hazardous waste every year generated in Ontario. Walker wants to build the landfill on a section of land that has already been mined for aggregate resources. Input will be gathered during the public consultation period that will be open until June 15, 2020. Project Director Darren Fry says says Walker will review and consider the public’s input and then submit a final EA report to the Ministry for their review and decision. 

"We look forward to continuing to work with the public, review agencies and Indigenous Communities over the next several months to answer their questions and address their feedback,” says Darren Fry, Project Director of Walker. “We are committed to ensuring the final EA we submit to the Ministry for approval is as comprehensive as possible." 

Fry says the draft EA report proves that this Landfill can be developed safely. 

"The EA assessment report documents all of the findings of the scientific and technical studies done over the past 8 years and these studies conducted by independent experts confirm that the Southwestern Landfill can be safely developed and operated."

The Town of Ingersoll has stated numerous times they would not be willing hosts for this potential landfill, however the site is actually in Zorra Township. The official position from the Township of Zorra has been the same since day and it is, that until such time, it has been proven as scientifically safe, the Township of Zorra will not be in support of the application. 

Several community groups have also been trying to fight the dump, since it was first proposed 8 years ago. Most notably the OPAL Alliance who have held numerous events and wave signs every Friday in protest of the landfill. The EA report was the next step in the process and ultimately the Province will make the final decision. 

You can read the EA draft assessment and provide your input online here. 

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