Regulation - LGIC

Proposed designation under the Environmental Assessment Act of the landfill site and waste transfer and processing expansion, located in the former Town of Dresden, Municipality of Chatham Kent

Regulation Number(s):
N/A
Instrument Type:
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Environmental Assessment Act, R.S.O. 1990
Summary of Proposal:
Designation under the Environmental Assessment Act

The Environmental Assessment Act (Act) allows for a project to be designated, by regulation, as a project to which the Act applies.

We have heard the concerns of the people of Dresden about York1 Environmental Waste Solutions Ltd.'s proposal to start receiving waste at a local landfill site that has not been in operation since the 1980s. We also know that an environmental assessment has never been completed for this site, because the landfill predates Ontario's environmental assessment requirements for landfills. We recognize the potential impact that a landfill of this size could have on the local residents and the surrounding environment.

In response to the significant public interest in the proposed project and the environmental concerns raised, in particular regarding potential impacts to species at risk, groundwater, surface water, increased truck traffic, odour, and other potential impacts to the local community, we are seeking comments on a proposal for a regulation that would, if made, require York1 Environmental Waste Solutions Ltd. to complete a comprehensive environmental assessment process for the project.

By requiring a comprehensive environmental assessment process for the project, additional opportunities for consultation with Indigenous communities and the public would also be provided.

Proposed Regulation

In order to designate York1 Environmental Waste Solutions Ltd.'s project as being subject to the comprehensive environmental assessment process, a regulation would need to be made by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

The proposed regulation would, if made, designate the following activities as a project subject to Part II.3 of the Act (comprehensive environmental assessment):

• Re-establishing landfill operations, including construction of a new landfill cell, within the approved site with a theoretical approved capacity of 1,620,000 cubic metres to landfill non-hazardous solid waste including construction and demolition waste and excess soil that are not reusable.
• Reestablishment and expansion of a waste transfer and processing station at the approved site for receiving, storing and processing up to 6,000 tonnes per day of solid, non-hazardous waste, including blue box waste, construction and demolition waste, tires, asbestos, excess soil and organic waste.
• In accordance with s. 3(3) of the Act, the project would include any enterprise or activity ancillary to the project.

The proposed regulation would come into force on filing.

Proposed Project

York1 Environmental Waste Solutions Ltd. is proposing to build an 8-hectare engineered landfill cell and re-establish landfill operations at an existing landfill site, including construction of any other works or facilities such as screening, landscaping, onsite roads, and fencing to receive waste and restart waste management activities and landfilling at the site, located at 29831 Irish School Road, in the former Town of Dresden, Municipality of Chatham Kent, Ontario.

The proposed landfill would be used for the disposal of non-hazardous solid construction and demolition waste from industrial, commercial, institutional and municipal sectors, including excess soil that cannot be reused, from the Town of Dresden. The proposed landfill would operate 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year, and would have a maximum theoretical capacity of 1,620,000 cubic metres (including an estimated 40,000 cubic metres of previously landfilled material that exist currently in non-engineered cells).

As part of the project, York1 Environmental Waste Solutions Ltd. is also proposing to re-establish and expand waste processing and transfer operations at the site, including expanding the existing 0.8-hectare waste processing site to 25 hectares. The expanded waste processing site would operate 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. It would have a maximum daily receiving rate of 6,000 tonnes per day of non-hazardous solid waste including construction and demolition waste and excess soil for beneficial reuse. The waste processing facility would also have a maximum average residual waste limit of not more than 1,000 tonnes per day, averaged annually of non-hazardous solid residual waste destined for final disposal at approved landfills.

Other activities are also anticipated, including:
• the construction of a new processing / sorting building capable of indoor storage
• the addition of waste classes for accepted and processed waste (including sorted blue box materials, source-separated organics, asbestos-containing materials, tires, and soil, soil-like materials and excess soil for beneficial reuse)
• installation of stationary equipment for processing construction and demolition waste into alternative low-carbon fuels (ALCF) in the new processing/sorting building
• placement of mobile diesel-powered shredding/grinding equipment for wood/construction & demolition waste outdoors
• installation of a soil treatment/soil washing system for processing solid and liquid soil to recover sand and aggregate material
• construction of a stormwater management infrastructure

The project, as described, is not automatically subject to environmental assessment requirements under the Act.

The property, which was formerly known as the Dresden Tile Yard, was approved as a landfilling site in the 1980s and has been used as an approved landfill and waste processing / transfer site (both are located within the same property).

Environmental Compliance Approval Requirements

There are existing Environmental Compliance Approvals (ECA) for the site, which allow for an 8-hectare landfilling area and for a 0.8-hectare waste processing site within the 35-hectare property. Amendments to the waste disposal and waste processing site ECAs are required for the project. A new ECA is also required for proposed stormwater management works at the site.

York1 Environmental Waste Solutions Ltd. submitted applications to the ministry to meet these ECA requirements. If the proposed regulation is made, the Act provides that ECAs approving the project will not be permitted to be issued until the proponent receives approval under Part II.3 of the Act to proceed with the project.

Public Response

Through the ministry's consultation on York1 Environmental Waste Solutions Ltd.'s ECA applications, we have heard concerns raised by the local community and municipality regarding the proposed reestablishment of landfill operations and the reestablishment and expansion of waste transfer / processing operations at the site.

Among the issues raised were concerns about potential impacts to species at risk, groundwater, surface water, increased truck traffic, odour, and other potential impacts to the local community.

Implementation and timelines

If a regulation is made designating the proposed project as a project subject to the requirements of Part II.3 the Act, York1 Environmental Waste Solutions Ltd. would be required to complete a comprehensive environmental assessment prior to proceeding with implementation of their project.

If made, the proposed regulation would come into effect on filing of the regulation.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
Based on information available to the ministry and assumptions made at this time, the ministry estimates that costs of upwards of $2 million may apply to the proponent if a regulation is made designating the project under the Environmental Assessment Act (Act) and requiring a comprehensive environmental assessment for the project. A comprehensive environmental assessment could take at least 4 years to complete depending on proponent timelines and any issues raised during the process. These values are based on best available estimates.

Costs and delays are anticipated as the regulation, if made, would require the proponent to complete a comprehensive environmental assessment process for the project, including undertaking studies and preparing Terms of Reference and environmental assessment submissions. The proponent would also need to undertake consultation with Indigenous communities, government agencies and interested persons in preparation of its Terms of Reference and comprehensive environmental assessment. If the regulation is made, the proponent may also be subject to administrative costs, as well as additional costs for compliance and monitoring.

If a regulation is made and the project is designated, the proponent would not be able to proceed with its project until it receives approval under Part II.3 of the Act.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
24-MECP004
Posting Date:
March 26, 2024
Comments Due Date:
May 10, 2024