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Designed by Polly Ko

Oak Ridges being used as a 'dump'

by Robert Walker
The Oshawa Express
Feb. 1, 2006

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Citizens regulated while compost business not, Councillor says.

The new regulations for citizens living on the Oak Ridges Moraine aren't a reason for concern says Councillor John Neal - but the lack of regulations for the compost facility is.

"I believe this approach of the provincial government is very hypocritical.
They're so concerned with regulating the citizen's property, but here you have a compost site located on a large aquifer which is taking in all kinds of debris from the city. This aquifer helps to recharge the water for the Greater Toronto Area."

"This has the constituents from my Ward just shaking their heads."

The Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act and Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan will instil land use and resource management planning controls with the intention of protecting the ecological and hydrological functions of the Oak Ridges Moraine.

On Thursday January 19, 2006 a public meeting was held at the Trillium Trails Banquet Hall to inform citizens regarding the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and subsequent zoning bylaw 60-94, which the province says must come into effect by March 31, 2006.

The bulk of the plan deals with any refinements near water or areas of natural and scientific interest, says Neal.
"For example, if someone is wanting to do any construction or the like near a wetland, then the regulations say you have to have so much of a vegetative buffer between the work being done and the wetland."

'It's a provincial planning policy downloaded onto the municipality,"
explains Neal. "The City will do its absolute best to accommodate residents as best it can."

The new regulations will prohibit the generation or storage of hazardous waste within high aquifer vulnerability areas.
"And here you have this compost site, which the provincial government is calling a 'farm area'," says Neal. "There is all kinds of trash being dumped there, and there has been two fires on the property. But the province won't approve moving it or shutting it down."

What this boils down to is a lower-tier government trying its best to deal with an unconcerned provincial government, says Neal.

"I find it so surprising, considering all the expense put into research the area and the new regulations for it."

As of now the compost site is regulated permit-by-rule says Neal. "This means that it's up to the owner to monitor themselves. What should be in place is a certificate-by-rule, so that someone other than the owner is deciding if regulations are being followed."
Picture Included: The compost site as it is today on the Oak Ridges Moraine

The Oshawa Express
Publishing Corp

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