A major waste facility proposed for Ottawa's eastern edge that attracted opposition from residents and city council has been approved by the province's environment ministry.
The proposed waste facility at Boundary Road and Highway 417 would accept a variety of waste generated in Ontario including industrial, commercial, construction, and demolition waste.
The project by Taggart Miller Environmental Services has been a lightning rod for criticism in the nearby Carlsbad Springs area.
It has also faced opposition at city council where there were concerns about the environmental impact of the project and whether the site, which aims to divert nearly half its waste, would primarily be used as a landfill.
On Monday the province's ministry of the environment and climate change said it was approving the project, after Taggart Miller agreed to fifteen conditions, including that it:
- Ensure waste diversion facilities are operational before accepting waste at the landfill.
- Ensure stormwater management systems are designed to withstand severe storm events.
- Prepare dust management and odour abatement plans and develop a plan for spills and other events that may leach waste into the soil.
- Study traffic implications of facility and consult on intersection improvements.
- Demonstrate how the company will comply with provincial regulations.
- Report annually to the ministry on compliance.
- Develop a protocol for managing public complaints, including establishing a community liaison committee.
In a letter to the province last year, mayor Jim Watson and councillor Stephen Blais had asked the facility not be granted approval.
In their letter they expressed "grave concerns" about the facility, both the potential local environmental impact on wells and air quality, as well as the implications on traffic and the environment from shipping waste in and out of the city.
A spokesperson for Blais said the councillor declined to comment until he had a chance to review the province's approval.
Plans to divert 43 to 57 per cent of waste
Taggart Miller has set an overall diversion target of 43 to 57 per cent over the 30-year life span of the facility, and "provide landfill disposal for materials that are not diverted," the province said.
Michelle Taggart, the director of development with Taggart Investments and Tamarack Homes, said in a statement Taggart Miller Environmental Services was "very pleased to have reached this important milestone."
"The Capital Region Resource Recovery Facility will bring new and innovative commercial waste management programs and technologies to the capital region," she wrote.
"We still have much to do to make our vision for this leading edge sustainability project a reality. We are committed to working in consultation with all of our stakeholders as we move forward."
Under the terms of the provincial approval, Taggart Miller must begin construction of the site within 10 years.