Photo: The London Free Press
"A battle is brewing and the battleground is along the London area’s natural jewel, the Thames River. One company wants to dig a quarry on land bordering the river near St. Marys to extract sand and gravel; another wants to turn an old quarry in Beachville into a dump. At stake, opponents say, is everything from increased noise pollution, to more pressure on at-risk wildlife, to the quality of our drinking water. Randy Richmond reports"
"The provincial Environment Minister had chimed in on the Walker Landfill proposal.
But in a two page letter, responding to Oxford County Council, Jim Bradley doesn't say much." 104.7 Heart FM News
"Ingersoll Mayor Ted Comiskey also isn't pleased with the provincial Environment Minister's response to landfill concerns. "I think that I would have liked to have seen a little more concern about the whole situation.'" - 104.7 Heart FM News
"Resident members of the community liaison committee (CLC) for Walker Environmental Group's proposed landfill in Zorra have voiced frustration and raised concerns about whether their input is being heard in developing the proposal's terms of reference." - Ingersoll Times
A dispute has broken out over access to audio recordings of meetings being held by Walker Industries on their proposed landfill in Beachville. A public member of the Community Liaison Committee, that meets once per month, is raising issue with Walker's providing access to recordings of their committee meetings." - 104.7 Heart FM News
January 22/13 - OPAL and Ingersoll Nature Club hosting free movie screening
"Oxford People Against the Landfill (OPAL) and the Ingersoll District Nature Club are hosting a free afternoon at the movies next month.
Encouraging people to be more mindful of the waste created at home, the groups are screening Garbage! The Revolution Starts at Home at the CAW Hall in Ingersoll at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013."
"What social and economical impacts will the proposed landfill in Beachville have on the surrounding area?
The Community Liaison Committee heard initial thoughts to this answer from experts from AECOM Wednesday. Senior Environmental Consultant Tomasz Wlodarczyk says they shared the factors or the criteria that they want to examine."
"With the spectre of a possible new landfill being built on his town's border, Ingersoll Mayor Ted Comiskey is pushing the provincial Environment Ministry to take some positive concrete steps when it comes to landfills.
At the recent Rural Ontario Municipal Association conference Comiskey had an opportunity to pose his questions around landfills directly to Environment Minister Jim Bradley.
Comiskey asked about how municipalities will be able to get control of landfill sites in their jurisdiction, so you don't have Toronto's garbage being shipped out of town and secondly asked about how to reduce the need for dumps.
Comiskey says the Minister's response was pretty generic but Comiskey adds there are specifics that need to be addressed.
Comiskey says even if we bury our heads in the sand, the next generation will be looking and judging our inaction"
"The assembled team that will be studying the issues surrounding the Walker Landfill Proposal has been released.
The list includes 14 experts in their field, from traffic, to groundwater, to economics, the team of consultants will be meeting on a regular basis to share their findings on the impacts of a potential mega-landfill in the Beachville Quarry.
The Peer Review Team will be headed up by Chris Haussmann, of Haussmann Consulting, who tells Heart FM, "Our report goes first to the municipal coordinating committee for their acceptance, and then it would go to Walker, but they would also be public documents."
A website will also be established to keep the public up to date on developments from the Peer Review Team."
"An expert panel has been appointed to delve into the thorny issue of Walker Environmental Group’s proposal to build a large and controversial landfill site in a mined Beachville quarry.
Led by Chris Haussmann of Haussman Consulting Inc., the panel, paid for by Walker, is comprised of professional advisors and consultants appointed by Oxford municipalities.
“The peer review team is a technical team, that will conduct a technical review of the environmental assessment study that Walker is required to conduct, “ Haussmann said Thursday. “What is important to understand is our focus is to make sure what Walker does is technically accurate and complete.”
“We are absolutely thrilled to be making this announcement,” says OPAL chairperson, Steve McSwiggan. “CELA’s assistance will help to level the playing field as we take our opposition to this landfill straight to the provincial government later this year, and we thank CELA for believing in our cause.”
Oxford People Against the Landfill have levelled the playing field against Walker Environmental.
That's according to OPAL chairperson Steve McSwiggan after the group retained legal services.
He says the Canadian Environmental Law Association or CELA is a perfect fit for them. "The cost of lawyers, the cost of experts all of those things are playing very large in what we are trying to accomplish here. We need a lot of help to rebut the terms of reference, we need help and legal advise on the E.A. (Environmental Assessment) process and CELA offers all of that assistance".
CELA's legal experts have successfully assisted in the fights against other landfills.
McSwiggan says they are building a strong team that will help them in the long run with the landfill proposal.
While much of CELA's expertise is being offered to OPAL free of charge, there will be some expenses. McSwiggan hopes the community will assist with some of these costs.
The Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) has partnered with Oxford People Against the Landfill (OPAL) to provide legal representation for its fight against Walker Environmental Group's proposed landfill in Zorra.
“CELA will provide the Oxford County residents' group opposing the mega-landfill with legal experts that specialize in protecting water supplies and keeping communities safe from potentially dangerous projects such as landfills,” said OPAL in a press release.
OPAL is “thrilled” to have CELA on board, said chair Steve McSwiggan.
“CELA’s assistance will help to level the playing field as we take our opposition to this landfill straight to the provincial government later this year, and we thank CELA for believing in our cause.”
While much of CELA’s expertise is being offered to OPAL free of charge, McSwiggan said there are ongoing expenses related to legal services for which OPAL is responsible.
“We hope people around our county will donate what they can to assist us with legal and expert costs going forward,” he said. “This battle for our communities in Oxford County is being fought on behalf of all current and future residents, and I truly believe the health of our citizens, economy and environment are worth every effort to protect.”
FOLDENS - If you’re opposing a dump, there’s a certain amount of irony in seeing cast-off items destined for one sitting at the end your driveway.
During the municipal large item curbside collections last year, Oxford People Against Landfill (OPAL) chairperson Steve McSwiggan explained many people were struck by the irony of residents’ discarded items piled next to their Stop the Dump lawn signs.
“I was putting big items out on the front lawn, when it struck home with me,” he said. “If we’re going to oppose the dump we’re going to have to be really conscience of what we’re throwing out. We need to divert as much as possible.”
After a brain storming session, that new focus has translated into a free family festival in Foldens slated for May 25 to give discarded items a second chance.
“We’re not only opposing the dump, we’re practicing what we’re saying,” McSwiggan said.
“I love Ingersoll and I don't want this landfill next to my town,” he said. “We have to make sure the ministry (of environment) is aware of the feeling of the Town of Ingersoll (toward the landfill).We have to make sure the ministry is aware of the effects that could potentially happen...have already started (to happen). This is not something 13,000 people want to see on their doorstep.”
He is encouraging residents to make sure they're heard, including supporting the efforts of Oxford People Against the Landfill (OPAL).
“I think we have to impress upon the ministry there's a community trying to voice its honest opinion and it can't be ignored,” he said. “Ingersoll isn't laying down on this one.”
Oxford People Against the Landfill (OPAL) wants to know what Ontario's new Minister of Natural Resources plans to do about enforcing rehabilitation plans for pits and quarries.
In an April 1 letter addressed to Minister of Natural Resources David Orazietti, OPAL raises its concern about Walker Industries' proposed landfill at Carmeuse Lime in Zorra Township. It includes concerns that the site rehabilitation plan for the Carmeuse property filed with the Ontario Aggregate Resources Act (ARA) would, in effect, be cancelled if the landfill proposal is approved.
BEACHVILLE - An expert technical panel keeping tabs on a controversial landfill site proposed by Walker Industries say they have taken “important first steps” in their environmental assessment inquiry, including a tour of the Carmeuse quarry in Zorra Township.
…Mike Farlow, who sits on the committee isn't happy the meeting is being held at Walkers' office in Ingersoll. He wants it held at the Beachville Museum to give the public greater access. "We were told during the meetings that however we wanted to structure it is how Walker would put it together. Now we're finding out that saying so, doesn't make it so because they're trying to put it in a format that isn't what we asked for at all."
Walker General Manager, Joe Lyng, says he's aware of the request, but still intends on holding the meeting at Walker's office.
A day spent with a panel of experts left many members of the community liaison committee with more questions than answers about the Walker Environmental Group’s proposed landfill in Zorra Township.
…Joe Lyng, Walker general manager, said the decision to hold the meeting at the office was made to ensure the in-depth questions had a chance to be answered.
He said the meeting was aimed at the CLC members and their alternates not the general public because the levels of questions would be more complex.
This year, the Oxford People Against the Landfill (OPAL) will be on hand at the river cleanup with a display board. The group will also be cooking up lunch for the volunteers.
Woodstock will not support Walker Environmental releasing waste water into local treatment plants.
City council voted unanimously to approve a motion that would see Mayor Pat Sobeski send a letter to the company stating Walker will have to deal with waste on their own site.
Walker is the company attempting to establish a large landfill in Beachville. At a similar facility in Niagara, Walker takes the leachate from its landfill and uses storm ponds and ditches to collect the run-off, and then pumps the surface water to a nearby waste water treatment plant.
Sobeski says Woodstock has always been protective of cross boarder services and the city wants it on record that they will prohibit the expansion of waste water facilities and infrastructure to accommodate Walker in Oxford County.
This comes as as Walker prepares to put forth their terms of reference for an environmental assessment in late-May.
Oxford People Against Landfill (OPAL) say they are pleased that the City of Woodstock's decision “to step up and send a strong message to Walker Industries.”
On April 22, City Council unanimously voted to support sending letters to the Walker, the Ministry of the Environment and several municipalities stating their position that they would not be willing to accept wastewater from the proposed landfill site in Zorra Township.
OPAL was formed a year ago to actively oppose Walker Industries' proposal to build a large and controversial landfill site in a mined Beachville quarry.
OPAL chairperson Steve McSwiggan described Woodstock’s actions as “a positive step.”
“We in Oxford – both citizens and our leaders - must say to Walker, ‘We are not willing hosts and we will not willingly have this type of industry take advantage of our existing infrastructure,’” McSwiggan said in a release.
This year, the Oxford People Against the Landfill (OPAL) will be on hand at the river cleanup with a display board. The group will also be cooking up lunch for the volunteers.
About 20 OPAL supporters took part in the clean up on Saturday, said Steve McSwiggan, chair of the group that is fighting Walker Environmental Group's proposal for a landfill in Zorra.
“We also have an environmental conscience, so we'll do whatever we can to help,” he said. “And part of that is keeping our town and our county clean.”
He said OPAL members decided to take the clean up one step farther by separating recyclables from the trash they collected.
County Council is asking Walker Environmental Group to undertake a health risk assessment with an epidemiologist to investigate potential health effects associated with the proposed Beachville landfill.
Ingersoll will have a new environmental lawyer to represent the town's interests through Walker Environmental Group's proposed landfill process.
Less than a month after council passed a resolution to retain the legal expertise of environmental lawyer Rodney V. Northey of Fogler, Rubinoff LLP, Northey resigned his position at the firm and is no longer able to act as legal representation for the town, according to a press release issued by the town Wednesday, May 8.
“Northey has confirmed that following his departure from Fogler, Rubinoff LLP he will have a conflict of interest which will render him unable to act for the Town of Ingersoll in cases involving the Walker Environmental Group and the proposed landfill,” the press release states.
Ingersoll CAO Darell Parker said the town continues to work with Fogler, Rubinoff LLP and retains expert and exclusive legal representation on this matter.
On May 14/13 Walker Environmental Group held a Public Open House at the Woodstock Quality Inn. Walker Group are proposing a mega-landfill for a portion of the Carmeuse Quarry in the Centreville/Beachviller/Ingersoll area. This report includes interviews with Walker's Joe Lyng, Oxford People Against The Landfill also known as OPAL's Karen Paton Evans, Community Liason Committee member Mike Farlow and the Mayor of the Town Of Tillsonburg and Oxford County Councillor, John Lessif.
Members of the Oxford People Against the Landfill Alliance attended county council on Wednesday night, encouraging the county to make information about Walker Environmental Group’s Terms of Reference for the proposed Beachville landfill site easily accessible on the county’s website.
OPAL Alliance suggested to council that an environmental assessment flowchart and a thorough explanation of it, along with a timeline of Walker’s Terms of Reference submissions, be added to the Oxford County website and the websites of various municipalities.
It will be a dumpster diva's delight today.
Oxford People Against the Landfill are hosting Trashapalooza!
It's a recycling and fundraising event being hosted by the group battling the Walker Landfill proposal.
The event is an opportunity to bring household goods you no longer use, but maybe someone else will pick it up and give it a second life.
Karen Paton-Evans says they're also looking for these donations.
"Collecting scrap metal so we will be able to send those to a recycler and get cash for them to help fund OPAL's ongoing expenses for a hydrogeologist and an air quality expert as we try to figure out how we're going to continue fighting Walker's landfill proposal."
There will also be speakers and musical performances at the event.
It runs from 9 till 6 at the Foldens Hall and Shop at the corner of Sweaburg Road and Foldens Line.
Reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose – it was all happening in Foldens on Saturday during Trashapolooza hosted by Oxford People Against the Landfill (OPAL).
A disused municipal garage owned by the Township of South-West Oxford was bustling with activity as people dropped off items they no longer needed and many of them were quickly scooped up by others.
Walker Environmental, as scheduled, released its draft Terms of Reference late last week.
It's a 31 page document, outlining the various questions and concerns raised by the public as it relates to the impact the landfill would have. Walker's "technical experts" will attempt to answer those concerns.
A Zorra Township man is doing what he knows best to raise money for a cause close to his heart.
Doug Thomas is hosting a special Flat Tire Repair Day on June 15 to raise money for the Oxford People Against the Landfill (OPAL) alliance.
“I’m trying to do the right thing, you have to pick and choose your battles,” Thomas said. “This landfill, if it goes through, it will decimate Ingersoll. I plan to stay there, and I want to do everything I can to stop it.”
Oxford People Against the Landfill has requested a 60-day extension from Walker on the current public comment period.
Spokesperson Steve McSwiggan says even without the circumstances surrounding the document, more time is necessary. "For them to roll out 6000 pages of documentation from the last year, and then ask our community to review it in 30-days is a little ridiculous."
McSwiggan says time is of the essence. "The final terms are on our doorstep now, happening in July and August. It's evermore important that Oxford County really review what they have on the plate right now, and have their comments ready on that document. This is a key moment, a pivotal moment for Oxford County."
A 60-day extension on the current public comment period on the landfill proposal isn't likely to happen.
Oxford People Against the Landfill have asked for an extension to allow for more time to review the Draft Terms of Reference that came out May 23rd.
However, Walker GM Joe Lyng doesn't seem willing to oblige. "At this point, we think the 30-day review period that we've put out is adequate."
Members of the community liaison committee (CLC) claim Walker Environmental Group has dumped its responsibility to keep the public informed surrounding a proposed landfill in Zorra Township.
Thomas Corbett, a member of the CLC tasked with representing the community in monthly meetings with Walker, said issues have arisen over the last month regarding the draft Terms of Reference required in Walker’s application.
Corbett said it would be almost impossible for the public to digest the amount of material included in Terms of Reference in the timeframe provide.
“It’s on the Walker website but you’re talking 6,000 pages and every other page was put online upside down,” Corbett said.
Residents of Oxford County are fighting a proposed landfill in a quarry near their community and protected areas of endangered wildlife
Holding up “no dump” signs at the intersection of Beachville Road and Folden's Line on Thursday, a group of concerned citizens displayed their opposition to a proposed landfill in the Township of Zorra.
With many drivers honking their horns in support, the protest was staged to bring attention to Walker Environmental Group's plan to convert a quarry owned by Carmeuse Lime into a landfill.
photo: J Tapley /INGERSOLL TIMES/QMI AGENCY
photo M. Cooper
The sign on the door said, “open, come in.” Instead, Walker Environmental Group's Ingersoll office was locked when members of Oxford People Against the Landfill (OPAL) attempted to deliver comments on the landfill proposal's draft terms of reference on Friday, June 21.
Friday was deadline day for the initial public comment period on the draft terms of reference for the environmental assessment of the landfill Walker is proposing in the Township of Zorra.
OPAL research chair Suzanne Crellin said with the open sign displayed, the group initially thought public pressure had led the company to accept submissions on Friday.
“Unfortunately, the door was locked and there were no employees on site,” she said.
Walker Environmental Group isn't getting a passing grade from the technical experts on its first attempt at explaining its landfill proposal.
Oxford County's Peer Review Team is out with a 124-page report, in response to Walker's draft Terms of Reference on its plans to open a massive landfill in Beachville.
The team of 14 technical experts say the work plans are too generic, and lacking detail. Peer Review Team Manager Chris Haussmann tells Heart FM, "The work plans that they include are so generic that we really can't determine whether they would be appropriate or adequate to the task of properly assessing the affects of the proposal of the environment."
Members of the expert technical panel overseeing the controversial landfill site proposed by Walker Industries have several concerns and questions about the dump’s draft terms of reference.
ZORRA TOWNSHIP - The Ministry of the Environment wants Walker Environmental Group to spend more time addressing community concerns about the proposed landfill for Zorra Township and include more detail in its Terms of Reference for the project.
In a 12-page document dated July 5, provincial MOE special project officer Michelle Whitmore reviewed the draft Terms of Reference (ToR) received by the ministry May 23 and points out areas of the plan that require more information.
"The process to develop a new landfill site in a mined quarry at Carmeuse Lime’s Beachville location is under way.
Representatives from Walker Environmental Group have started knocking on doors to let neighbouring residents know what is being proposed and what the process is..."
"... the Ingersoll area has been targeted for one of the largest garbage dumps in the province. A private company has gone public with its desire to turn portions of a lime quarry into the landfill. The proposal has shocked residents and has politicians scrambling to react. CTV London’s Sean Irvine explains..."
"Walker Environmental Group (WEG) is hosting an open house to discuss its proposal to develop a landfill in a mined quarry at Carmeuse Lime's Beachville site.
Scheduled for April 4 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m..."
"Get involved, stay informed, ask questions and provide feedback.
Walker Environmental Group (WEG) is encouraging public participation in its proposal to develop a landfill at a mined quarry in Beachville, said Joe Lyng, the company's general manager of strategic growth..."
The mayors of Zorra Township, Ingersoll and South West Oxford Township issued a statement to residents Tuesday morning regarding the proposed landfill site in Zorra.
“We want you to know that all of your elected municipal officials have significant concerns about the potential impact of a large landfill site that Walker Environmental Group is proposing to locate in a mined-out portion of a quarry owned by Carmeuse Lime in Zorra Township on the boundary with Ingersoll,” the statement reads
"Residents in and around Centreville, Beachville and Ingersoll are showing their opposition to the proposed landfill site in Zorra Township by posting signs on their properties. While many of them are generic 'No Dump' signs, others are more personalized..."
"The Walker Environmental Group public open house regarding the proposed Zorra Township landfill site has been relocated to Woodstock.
The date for the event remains Wednesday, April 4 from 2 to 8 p.m. It will be held in the Vansittart Room at the Quality Inn in Woodstock..."
"An upcoming public meeting on a landfill proposal in Beachville is being shunned by the Elm Hurst.
Officials at the Inn have informed Walker Environmental it does not want to host the public meeting, given the opposition to the plan in the town..."
"County councillor and Ingersoll Mayor Ted Comiskey spoke passionately at county council Wednesday, opposing the proposed landfill site at Carmeuse Lime’s Beachville location. Comiskey asked council to take a firm stance against the proposed landfill site through a resolution, but council decided to defer the motion to gather more information. The resolution will be revisited at the next county council meeting on April 11..."
"No one on county council appeared to eager to welcome the proposed landfill site in a mined quarry at Carmeuse Lime's Beachville location during Wednesday’s meeting,
Councillors don’t like the idea of a dump located right next to Oxford County municipalities, but they differed on the opinion of what to do about it..."
"From young children to senior citizens, about 300 people showed their opposition to a proposed landfill in Beachville at a rally on Saturday.
Gathering around the gazebo in Yvonne Holmes-Mott Memorial Park, many in the crowd carried signs and wore T-shirts with messages objecting to the idea of a landfill in a mined quarry owned by Carmeuse Lime. Children were also able to express their feelings toward the proposal by Walker Environmental Group (WEG) at a craft table while adults signeda petition against the landfill that will be presented to county council..."
"Jeremy Richardson, one of the organizers of a rally against Walker Environmental Group's proposed landfill in a mined quarry in Beachville, Ont., speaks to the crowd in Yvonne Holmes -Mott Memorial Park in Ingersoll on March 31, 2012. Following speeches, the group walked through downtown to Walker Environmental Group's office on Carnegie Street..."
"Hundreds from Ingersoll, Beachville and other concerned Oxford citzens
stage a rally and protest march against a proposed landfill in
Beachville. -Heart FM"
"Hundreds from Ingersoll, Beachville and other concerned Oxford citzens stage a rally and protest march against a proposed landfill in Beachville..."
Photos of rally by Hun-jong Ha -posted on Sentinel Review facebook page
"With hundreds showing up for a weekend protest, Oxford County residents had their say on proposed landfill site in a mined quarry at Carmeuse Lime's Beachville location.
County Councillors had their say last week as they discussed the issue for nearly two hours at its regular meeting.
The Walker Environmental Group (WEG) will have the chance to have its voice heard regarding the proposed Zorra Township landfill site with a public open house Wednesday afternoon. The open house runs from 2 to 8 p.m. in Woodstock’s Quality Hotel and Suites’ Vansittart Room..."
"The Town of Ingersoll has put $100,000 in its 2012 budget for legal fees to address a proposal for a landfill in Beachville.
Starting out with $25,000 in the draft budget for that purpose, councillors felt it wasn't a realistic amount and upped the figure by $75,000 during a budget meeting on Tuesday, April 3.
Deputy Mayor Fred Freeman pointed out that the landfill proposal process is expected to take three to five years and the town may have to spend that much on legal fees each year..."
"The proposed landfill site in the mined quarry at Carmeuse Lime's Beachville location hasn’t received much support from either county residents or councillors.
Walker Environmental Group (WEG) is looking to change that. Joe Lyng, general manager of strategic growth at WEG, hopes Wednesday’s open house at the Quality Hotel & Suites in Woodstock will be the first step in changing the public perception..."
"Landfill controversy will fill Oxford County council chambers once again.
Coun. Ted Comiskey presented a motion at council two weeks ago asking council to draw a line in the sand in opposition to the proposed landfill site at Carmeuse Lime’s Beachville location. The motion was deferred until Wednesday’s meeting after county lawyers through CAO Michael Bragg expressed concern the motion would make clear an anti-landfill bias heading forward. Such a bias could hamper county’s effort to oppose the landfill later on Bragg explained..."
"Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman knows what its like to battle a landfill.
Hardeman, a longtime Salford resident, says he remembers the proposal for the Salford landfill many years ago.
Hardeman is telling those battling the Walker Landfill proposal in 2012 to speak up and let the company know their concerns..."
"Oxford County took a firm stance against the proposed landfill at the former Carmeuse Lime Beachville location.
Council Wednesday voted in favour of a revised motion tabled by Coun. Ted Comiskey. The motion calls for a moratorium on landfills in the county until a review of other options can be completed and council will advise the provincial government of its anti-landfill stance. While Comiskey is getting his wish of sending an early clear message that the county does not want a landfill, Warden Don McKay said the motion does nothing to actually prevent a proposal, such as the one made by Walker Environmental Group..."
"County Council's call for a stop to landfills in Ontario" (video Heart FM)
"She was the sole county councillor to oppose a motion to start the fight against the proposed Beachville landfill, but Margaret Lupton isn’t pro landfill by any stretch...
Still eager to help divert county trash from landfills, Lupton and Zorra offered county council another suggestion. She said if the county can reduce the amount of waste it puts out to the curb the need for landfills will decrease..."
"Walker Environmental Group – the company that has proposed to develop a landfill in a mined quarry in Zorra - is offering tours of its Niagara campus to the public..."
“...The disposal of resources in landfills is unsustainable and creates potential environmental concerns which may take numerous generations to become apparent and could have significant human and financial costs before the problems are rectified,” the resolution says. “Oxford County council demands a moratorium on any future landfill construction or approval until such time as a full review of alternatives can be completed which would examine best practices in other jurisdictions around the world...”
"What happens next?