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Incineration Update – Fall 2010

Update by Linda Gasser, PCN’s Incineration Coordinator

bill-pollutionBritish Columbia

Metro Vancouver Regional District Council voted on July 30th to include waste incineration as an option in their Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP). The plan is currently before the Ministry of Environment and the Minister will render a decision on the plan, likely by the end of the year. Zero Waste B.C. activists and residents attending SWMP consultation meetings raised a number of concerns including impacts of incinerator emissions on air quality and how waste incineration would impact public health, the natural environment, agriculture and taxes given the huge costs to build and operate incinerators.

Patricia Ross, the Chair of the Fraser Valley Regional District (FRVD), sets out FVRD’s concerns in a letter to Minister Penner. Please visit http://zerowastebc.org to learn how you can make your concerns known to decision-makers.

We encourage all B.C. residents to write to Minister Penner and urge him not to approve Metro’s proposed plan to burn garbage.

Ontario

This summer’s cabinet shuffle resulted in a new Minister of Environment being appointed for Ontario – the Hon. John Wilkinson. The cabinet shuffle has delayed the long awaited review of the Waste Diversion Act (WDA), which was to be addressed in the fall session. The WDA Review was to develop a framework to help move Ontario towards a Zero Waste Strategy with Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) as the centerpiece.

The proposed Durham-York incinerator and its potential impacts on air quality and public health have dominated all the candidate debates in the designated host community, Clarington. Incumbents who supported the incinerator are attempting to distance themselves from their voting records. The public, who are asking tough questions, are making the proposed incinerator the burning (!) issue of this municipal election.

The Ontario cabinet shuffle has also delayed the Minister of Environment’s decision regarding the proposed Durham-York garbage incinerator. Durham residents have been urging Minister Wilkinson to not render a decision before he has time to thoroughly review the file and not before the October 25th municipal and the new Durham municipal and regional councils are in place.

Also in Ontario, Renewable Energy Management continues with its Environmental Screening application and is seeking approval to build a gasification plant in Wesleyville, just east of Port Hope. Gasification is a form of incineration. You can read REM’s claims on their website. After you’ve reviewed them, we encourage you to read a 2009 report from Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League about the impacts of gasification on the environment and public health.

REM has been investigating proceeding with a similar proposal in Brant, in south west Ontario. Ac cording to local activies, no substantive action has been taken to date.

Ontario residents have an opportunity to question candidates about their positions on incineration and waste issues during the campaign. Please know the voting records of incumbents seeking re-election and know where all candidates stand before casting your vote on October 25th.

 
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