May 26, 2019 Alnwick/Haldimand Proposed By-law To Prohibit Dumping Of Contaminated Materials

There is concern regarding the dumping of materials being brought into Alnwick/Haldimand from outside the region. The reason for the concern is that this practice if not properly controlled will endanger drinking water supplies. Alnwick/Haldimand residents have investigated neighbouring Township By-Laws and produced a draft comprehensive Fill By-Law. Please read the attached Notice and let your Councillors know that you are concerned about protecting your drinking water. Contact information is included.  Notice Regarding Proposed Fill Bylaw

May 2, 2019 - Draft By-law To Prevent Illegal Dumping

There is growing public concern regarding dumping of materials being brought into municipalities from outside of the region. Residents from A/H, Brighton and Cramahe have raised concerns to local Councils during the past couple of years about this growing problem.

The following CBC News article from August 13, 2018 exposes the lucrative business of illegal dumping, and gives credence to citizens’ concerns.

CBC News Article About The Business of Illegal Dumping

Most municipalities have site alteration by-laws in place, but they do not address the importing of fill. There have been several incidents of fill being trucked into and around townships without notification, which is in violation of existing site control by-laws. A permit is required and a fee paid for dumping of fill at any site. It has fallen to residents to bring the problem of illegal dumping to the attention of township Staff/Council. Furthermore, site alteration by-laws do not deal with “what” type of fill, or “where” the fill comes from, and that is a major concern.

At last week’s A/H Planning Meeting a draft By-law to Control the Importing of Fill was discussed at great length by Council.

Councillor Mike Filip spoke in support of Council adopting the proposed by-law, which would deal solely with importing fill into the Township. It would complement the Township’s current Site Alteration By-Law No. 46-2012 and not to replace it. Filip offered the following comments regarding the proposed by-law:

  • deals solely with importing fill into the Township
  • sets out various exemptions to ensure that the Township’s needs are met, as well as to accommodate projects around the Township
  • it allows for future exemptions to address contractor needs to bring fill from a neighbouring municipality in conjunction with By-Law No. 46-2012
  • current site alteration by-law does not regulate where Fill comes from and does not apply to pits and quarries licenced by the MNR.

Councillor Filip went on to note that a number of Municipalities (including Clarington) have passed by-laws to prevent fill being imported into those municipalities, in response to concerns as to the type and source of the fill being imported.

Filip pointed out that municipal/provincial governments do not have the resources to monitor and test all fill being imported into the Municipalities. Companies are charged with self-testing of loads. He felt that it is necessary to have this by-law to prevent the Township from having to be the watchdog and count on other people to shut down illegal dumping activities in all pits going forward. He stated that we need to look after our own backyard and this by-law will give us the authority to prevent dumping of things we don’t want in our Township. He went on to say that importing of fill will still be permitted, just make sure that it is done in conjunction with the site alteration by-law and the proposed by-law.

Councillor Filip also spoke of conversations he had with officials from the MOE and the MNR, and they both suggested that the Township could pass a by-law prohibiting the importation of fill. To support this position, the Municipal Act (Ontario) provides the following:

  • Section 11(2)7 – A lower-tier municipality and an upper-tier municipality may pass by-laws, subject to the rules set out in subsection (4), respecting the following matters…economic, social and environmental well-being of the municipality, including respecting climate change.

Filip talked about the duty of the Township to protect the environment and its residents, noting the provincial ministries only become involved after a problem has arisen. Filip believes that the Township should be pro-active on this serious issue. To quote:

“I would rather have a by-law in place that says “We have certain restrictions about dumping in our township, and they are “these”. It prevents unconscionable others from bringing stuff into our township, whether it’s today, tomorrow or in the future.”

Deputy-Mayor Gail Latchford spoke to opposition by the public over applications for gravel pits, saying that those types of applications always fill Council Chambers. She was concerned about discouraging future business. She went on to say that “these pits have to be filled and leveled”.

Councillor Filip responded that he is not concerned about the business of gravel extraction, “We all need gravel”. The proposed by-law has nothing to with gravel extraction, but everything to do with the dumping of unwanted and/or toxic materials.

Filip reiterated that other municipalities have already passed by-laws restricting fill. He wants to make sure that there is a standard in place that will dissuade people that are just looking for places to dump stuff. He pointed out that there are businesses that are 'in the business' of dumping difficult waste.

There was more discussed, but in the end, Council voted to seek a legal opinion regarding what their rights are.

One point that Deputy Mayor Latchford made needs to be clarified. Exhausted pits do not have to be “filled and leveled.” They do need to be rehabilitated to reasonable slopes as determined by the MNR regulations. Pits in general have enough existing material to allow for rehabilitation and extra fill should not, in most instances, be required.

This is a serious matter for all of us. Alnwick/Haldimand (in fact all municipalities in Northumberland County), has significant environmentally protected areas, including the Oak Ridges Moraine, lakes, rivers and natural wildlife habitats. Our drinking water comes from these areas, and it is imperative that we do everything in our power to protect these areas from possible contamination. Controlling the dumping of unwanted fill is essential to protect our environment and to ensure safe drinking water.

If you are interested in what has led to this proposed by-law being brought forward, please take some time to read the information below

Also take a moment to email each of our Councillors indicating your support for a by-law to control the importing of fill into your township. Email addresses as follows:

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September 27, 2018 - Alnwick/Haldimand Council Does NOT Approve Closure of Road Allowance at the Gravel Pit

This is information from a report prepared by Gritt Koehl:

A Motion to Approve a By-law before Council at today's Planning Meeting, to close & sell a road allowance that runs between the gravel pit and adjacent farmland, was defeated 3 to 2.

Deputy Mayor Gail Latchford put forward a Motion to APPROVE the By-law. Councillor Ray Benns seconded it just to get it on the floor for discussion.

Benns proceeded to say that A/H residents have many concerns regarding the pit operation, including dumping, as well as the possibility of future expansion of the pit. He also believes that Council should share those same concerns. He understands that the pit license falls under MOE and MNR regulations, but he also felt that not selling the road allowance would NOT prohibit the pit owners from pursuing their operation. Benns stated that it is known by the township that the gravel from that pit is of poor quality, and not suitable for township use. Councillor Benns' wish was to defer a decision until more information was received from the pit owners.

Councillor Mike Filip spoke next and said he was not comfortable with approving the road closure after receiving new information. MOE has said that there is adequate fill existing in the pit to rehabilitate the slopes to acceptable levels. His question was "Why do we need more fill?" Filip expressed his concern over testing of loads being dumped, and does not feel that the MNR has the resources to guarantee that all fill/loads will be free of contaminants. He reiterated that the gravel in that area is of poor quality.

Councillor Sherry Gibson agreed with the positions stated by Councillor Benns and Filip. She also suggested that Council become more knowledgeable about the roles and responsibilities of the MOE, MNR and the Township with respect to pits and potential dumping.

Deputy Mayor Gail Latchford stated that all of the above should have been discussed prior to today, that the application has been in the works for a long time, and it doesn't look good as a council to not approve the by-law. She said "We will end up in court!"

Mayor John Logel said that Hydrovac companies exist in A/H, and that A/H does have a Fill By-law in place.

Latchford refused to change her motion from "approve" to "defer", so in a recorded vote the Motion to Approve the By-law was defeated.

Yay: Mayor Logel, Deputy Mayor Latchford

Nay: Councillors Benns, Filip, Gibson

September 10, 2018 - Alnwick/Haldimand Residents Continue Efforts to Control Dumping at an Oak Ridges Moraine Gravel Pit

Concerned residents have respectfully and repeatedly requested A/H Council to act and amend its By-laws to protect all the lands of Alnwick/Haldimand Township. The current Council of Alnwick/Haldimand Township has not acted on these requests. On September 20, 2018 Council will be considering an application to close an unopened road allowance adjoining a gravel pit. Local residents are concerned that this will allow expansion of the existing pit and will allow the current pit owners to once again start dumping Hydrovac industrial waste from the city of Vaughan.  The issue is protection of drinking water originating in the Oak Ridges moraine.  Citizens are encouraged to write to Council expressing concern about this situation.  Information regarding recent developments is available here September 2018 Update On Gravel Pit Issue

June 26, 2018 – Alnwick/Haldimand Gravel Pit Issue Returns to Council

Weston Consulting has submitted a letter to Council on behalf of Cobourg Sand & Gravel purporting to address the concerns of residents regarding the Oak Ridges gravel pit. 2018-06-15 Weston Consulting Letter to Council

Gritt Koehl has written to Council asking them to review the provincial mapping implications as well as the “No Dumping” Clause in the agreement of purchase and sale of the property in question. 2018-06-25 Gritt Koehl Letter to Council

Letters of concern were also written by Alison Howard and Rick Scott. 2018-06-26 Alison Howard Letter To Council  2018-06-26 Rick Scott Letter to Mayor Logel

This issue comes before Council on Thursday, June 27, 2018 at 12:30 pm.

March 26, 2018 - News Coverage of Gravel Pit Delegation

Karen Longwell is the News Editor for the Northumberland News. You can read her article on the Pit delegation here Northumberland News Article on "Resist the Pit" Delegation 

March 22, 2018 Gravel Pit Delegation to Alnwick/Haldimand Council

The group opposing operations at the Oak Ridges Drive gravel pit presented a delegation to the Alnwick/Haldimand Council meeting on Thursday March 22, 2018.  The spokesperson for the group was Alison Howard.  Over the course of a 20 minute presentation, Alison voiced the group's concerns about what was being dumped into the pit and the potential impact on gound water and the Oak Ridges Moraine watershed.  She also raised concerns about the application to close a road allowance that would allow expansion of the current pit into the adjoining farm land. The delegation concluded with a number of requests for action by A/H Council.  Mayor Logel thanked the group for their delegation and indicated that Council would need to meet to discuss the matter.  The presentation can be viewed here Resist The Pit Delegation

March 14, 2018 Gravel Pit Delegation to Alnwick/Haldimand Council

The group opposing operations at the Oak Ridges Drive gravel pit have announced that they will be bringing a delegation to the Alnwick/Haldimand Council meeting on Thursday March 22, 2018 at 12:30 pm.  Details of the delegation are available here Delegation Regarding Dumping and Gravel Pit Expansion

February 13, 2018 - A/H Public Meeting Re Pit Dumping & Expansion (Oak Ridges Moraine)

On Thursday, February 8, 2018 a meeting was held at Fenella Hall in Alnwick/Haldimand about a gravel pit located at Oak Ridges Drive and Lilac Valley Road.  This was an opportunity for local residents to meet the owner of the company that purchased the pit and ask questions about what was being dumped in the pit and the company's plans for expanding the pit. A summary of the meeting was prepared by Gritt Koehl and is available here A/H Meeting Re Gravel Pit Operation and Plans

Background

Residents in Alnwick/Haldimand have expressed concern about the operation of a gravel pit on Oak Ridges Drive.  They question “suspicious” materials being dumped at the pit and are concerned about the potential for future pit expansion.  Residents have organized a “Resist the Pit” movement in order to raise awareness about what is happening. Ultimately they are hoping to protect the watershed in the area.  Read more about this issue in this document A/H Dumping and Gravel Pit Expansion