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Walker Environmental's Terms Of Reference Approved

The Ministry of Environment has approved Walker Environmental's plan for an environmental assessment of the Southwestern Landfill Proposal.

OXFORD COUNTY - The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change has approved Walker Environmental's plan, for an assessment of the Southwestern Landfill Proposal. The area where the proposed landfill would be will be assessed by the company.

Darren Fry, Director of Strategic Growth for Walker says this approval is a big step towards getting the landfill.

“The approval of the Terms of Reference is a significant milestone for everyone involved with the Southwestern Landfill EA. It confirms that there is a rationale for this project and that a robust framework is in place to guide us through the next phase. This approval now allows us to begin the technical and scientific studies that will provide answers to the many questions the community has raised."

Although this a big step in getting the landfill, but it does not mean the project has been approved.

The Joint Muncipal Coordinating Committee has released the following statements in response the approval from chair Margaret Lupton. 

 “The JMCC is disappointed in the decision by the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change to accept with amendments the Terms of Reference for Walker Environmental Group’s Southwestern Landfill Proposal. 
“We believe Oxford’s municipalities put forward, through the Peer Review Team submissions, convincing evidence and information regarding the ecological, economic, social and health implications of a mega-landfill for this location in our community. Our citizens have voiced their concerns loudly and clearly to the provincial government. To learn that the Southwestern Landfill proposal will now move to an Environmental Assessment process is devastating news to our community.
“We are further disappointed to learn the Minister did not grant our requests for a full Health Impact Assessment, but has left Walker to determine whether or not to expand the scope of the Health Risk Assessment: a far less comprehensive review than what would be required by a Health Impact Assessment.
“This community is not a willing host and will continue to oppose Walker’s landfill proposal. We share the profound disappointment of our citizens in this failure to protect our people from the impacts of Walker’s mega-landfill. The only outcome we can support is the outright rejection of the Terms of Reference and the denial of this project.
“At the same time, the JMCC remains committed to continuing to oversee an independent multi-disciplinary peer review process to ensure the objective, scientific information about the impacts of the proposal will be available to Oxford residents and all other stakeholders.
“To that end, we will also work to ensure Walker Environmental Group commits to a full Health Impact Assessment, as submitted to the Ministry by the Oxford County Medical Officer of Health and endorsed by the four Oxford County JMCC municipalities.”

The Oxford Environmental Action Committee also issued a statement which disagrees with the approval.

We will work to get more reaction from community members and the OPAL alliance next week.

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