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NEWS: Clarington Citizens for Clean Water and Soil concerned about fill site

NewsDurhamRegion.com reports, “Sherry Ibbotson, who represented her neighbours in the newly-formed group Clarington Citizens for Clean Water and Soil, went to (Clarington) council to complain about the fill site (on Morgan’s Road in Clarington, about 85 kilometres west of Toronto) on March 28. In mid-March, Ms. Ibbotson noticed 150 trucks a day heading down her quiet rural road. The blowing dirt caked the front of her home, she said. …Most worrying for Ms. Ibbotson was the concern that the dirt being dumped in her neighbourhood might be from the Earthworx company, currently working in Scugog, and might contaminate her drinking water well.”

“There is a wetland to the east portion of the property. …The fill placement was proposed outside but adjacent to the wetland, therefore the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority could only assess the application based on the ‘hydrologic function’ of the adjacent wetland, according to Greg Wells, manager of planning and regulations for the GRCA.”

“(But) Earthworx Industries says it’s not working on Morgans Road, while Clarington solicitor Andy Allison says he’s unable to find a connection between the two operations. …The Morgans Road property is owned by a numbered company, and the man who owns the company is Richard Rondeau, according to Mr. Allison. He added he has not made any connection between the numbered company that owns the property and Earthworx. Mr. Rondeau did not respond to requests for an interview by press deadline.”

Still, “Clarington Council (has) decided to ask the Morgans Road property owner to give permission for Clarington and the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority to take shallow groundwater samples to establish the background water quality and random soil samples. Clarington is also asking the owner to keep — and share the details of — a log of every truck that dumps material onto the property and the source of the soil. The municipality also wants the owner to agree to address the damage caused to Morgans Road by the trucks leaving the property.”

“The residents’ group (went) back to council on Monday, April 4 (last night) to hear from a presenter from Scugog Township. The group is also working with Durham MPP John O’Toole and calling on the Ministry of Environment to develop clear and effective fill site regulations to protect neighbours. Ms. Ibbotson said she met the property owner last week, after angry neighbours started picketing the fill site. She said he told her he was planning to have the property rezoned residential and build eight to 10 high-end homes.”

“In March, Scugog got a Superior Court temporary injunction to stop Earthworx Industries dumping at the controversial fill operation on Lakeridge Road. Scugog and Earthworx had been at loggerheads since last fall after the municipality yanked the company’s permit to accept commercial fill, citing random soil samples that failed to meet Ministry of Environment guidelines.” Campaign blogs on that fill operation and its impact on the Oak Ridges Moraine can be read at http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?s=Earthworx.

The news article is at http://www.durhamregion.com/news/durham/article/174569.