WHEREAS regulations from the Ministry of Environment require a permit including an environmental study to expand a landfill on the same site that may have been used for over 50 years; and
WHEREAS the unnecessary costs associated with the required drilling of multiple test holes 35 meters below the proposed bottom of a new pit may exceed
WHEREAS the environmental study requirement for a permit to expand a previously approved rural landfill site that has been in existence and has been maintained by rural municipalities for years is totally unnecessary;
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Provincial Government to waive the requirement for an environmental study on a permit to expand an existing and approved municipally owned landfill site.
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT RESPONSE
Environmental site assessments to expand existing municipally-owned landfill sites will be unique for each site depending on information they have previously obtained and the specific site conditions.
Operating approvals for landfills require the owners to submit an application and receive approval prior to carrying out any major alterations including expansion to an existing site. The site assessment is a necessary part of the application process to understand the site conditions of the facility,and from there, determine the proper design and construction requirements to prevent impacts to the environment. Site assessments are required only for those sites where no previous assessments have occurred or where the expansion is outside of the previously assessed area. This information is required to also determine what level of monitoring may be required during operations and upon closure to identify impacts or verify the site is not impacted.
The cost for site assessments will vary by site depending on the conditions found and the number of test holes required to adequately characterize the hydrogeology of the site. For sites that have previously conducted site assessments, the information would contribute to current design and construction applications. Landfill owners should work with their Environmental Project Officer and qualified professional to determine what will be required for their specific site. The ministry continues to support the regional landfill concept as a means for several smaller municipalities to better and more economically manage their solid waste handling needs.
As I announced at your convention, our government intends to establish a Landfill Advisory Team (Advisory Team) that will aim to create a community of practice to addresslandfill issues and identify solutions to achieve sustainable solid waste management. The Advisory Team's mandate will be to provide recommendations that align with landfill permitting and legislative requirements to communities that are struggling with solid waste management regulations to achieve compliance. Achieving compliance regarding construction and the required site assessments will be considered as a topic for the advisory team to provide recommendations on. SARM will be invited to have members participate on the Advisory Team.