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UPDATE: Council backs Six Nations, Southgate PIRG, residents in opposition to Lystek biofertilizer plant

In early-May, Orangeville.com reported, “Construction of the OMRC (Southgate Organic Materials Recovery Centre, a biofertilizer facility in Dundalk) started in mid-January. The Ministry of Environment (MOE) sent a letter to Six Nations, as well as 10 other First Nations bands, regarding the project on Jan. 24. However, (Six Nations Chief Bill) Montour said he was not informed of the project until residents opposed to the OMRC raised the issue with his band council.”

“MOE approval is pending for Lystek’s plant, which would process human waste into biofertilizer. The site of the proposed facility is within the Haldimand Tract — a land treaty dating back to 1784. Montour said law requires Lystek to ‘consult and accommodate’ Six Nations. ‘We didn’t get that,’ the chief said. ‘That’s supposed to be done at the idea stage, not when you have holes in the ground.’ …An archaeological survey — which has not been performed — is also required, Montour added. ‘You got to do it,’ he insisted. ‘They could be digging up my grandfathers.'”

“Lystek (the company that plans to construct and operate the OMRC) employees met with Montour for the first time on April 17. The company held a second meeting with Six Nations councillors and its director of land and resources, according to (Kevin) Litwiller (director of business development for Lystek). …When Lystek purchased the property, Litwiller said they were unaware of First Nations rights on the land. …Whether or not Lystek will conduct the (archaeological) survey depends on the outcome of its First Nations ‘consultations and discussions,’ Litwiller said, noting the company is ‘not adverse’ to doing one.”

“Members of Six Nations have joined Southgate residents in blockading the road leading to Dundalk’s eco-park. Litwiller questioned Six Nations actual involvement in the blockade. ‘There were some folks from Six Nations who attended a couple of times,’ Litwiller said. …Anna-Marie Fosbrooke, a member of the Southgate Public Interest Research Group, said there is definite Six Nations involvement in the blockade. ‘They are there as often as their schedules permit. We don’t know when they may or may not be able to attend,’ Fosbrooke said.”

On May 22, the Owen Sound Sun Times reported, “Construction of the processing plant was halted on April 4 when members of the Six Nations Confederacy were joined by local opponents including members of the Southgate Public Interest Research Group in a blockade of the road leading to the Eco Park where the Lystek property is located.”

And on June 3, the Bayshore Broadcasting News Centre reported, “There is more opposition to Lystek’s plan to build a biosolid waste treatment plant in Dundalk. The Council of Canadians is the latest group to oppose Lystek’s plans to build a waste into fertilizer plant in Dundalk. National Chair Maude Barlow stopped at the blockade on (May 30) before stopping in Owen Sound on her tour to protect the Great Lakes. Barlow feels it’s important to support the members of Six Nations and the local community that have been preventing the construction of the bio-solid waste treatment facility since early April. …The residents are concerned about the plant’s impact on the headwaters of the Grand River — and Barlow says we need to protect our precious water sources. …The plant is also near a public school. …The Council of Canadians has joined the call for the McGuinty government to order a complete environmental assessment of the project.”

In early-April, Toronto Star reporter Linda Diebel highlighted, “A group of residents has already challenged the plant, located about 350 metres from Dundalk’s elementary school and daycare centre in the town of 2,000, one of several in the township. They are arguing in the Superior Court of Ontario that the land is not properly zoned for the plant’s intended use.”

For more information, please see the ‘Stop the Bio-Solids Plant’ Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/STOP-the-Bio-Solids-Plant-from-Being-In-a-Town-or-near-Housing/282799498412223?sk=info. The Toronto Star report is at http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1156843–six-nations-members-protest-plan-for-sludge-treatment-facility. The Owen Sound Sun Times article is at http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3568170. The Bayshore Broadcasting article is at http://www.bayshorebroadcasting.ca/news_item.php?NewsID=47176. Our media release on this issue can be read at http://canadians.org/media/water/2012/30-May-12-2.html.