Ministry stands by Site 41
By Laurie Watt Midland Mirror
MIDLAND – The Ministry of the Environment continues to defend a report that concludes there are sufficient upward gradients at Site 41 to act as a protective barrier in case the site should ever be a dump.
Although Simcoe County council voted in September to kill the plans for a landfill there, the county retains a ministry-issued certificate of approval.
Efforts to obtain and understand the hydrogeology of the site continue, as longtime anti-dump activist Stephen Ogden – who has served terms on the community monitoring committee – continues to pursue a freedom-of-information request for a specialized hydrogeological model based on years of testing data.
He has even obtained an Information and Privacy Commissioner order for the county to release the Modflow. The county has refused, and is seeking a judicial review of the order instructing the county to do everything possible to have its consultant hand over the model.
Ministry staff, meanwhile, have acknowledged there are problems with boreholes five and 17 at the Tiny Township Concession 2 site.
“The issue is that these test wells show less than expected seasonal variation in groundwater levels than do other wells in the area. Additional work is taking place to determine the cause,” said Greg Athron, a senior environment officer with the ministry.
“Based on 2008 groundwater level measurements, upward gradients are confirmed to be present at Site 41 in all wells monitored, with the exception of a single well which is located outside the proposed waste-disposal area. These findings are consistent with historical findings.”