New Brunswickers challenge
Irving's toxic dump
Grand Lake: What's going on?
May 2004) -- On April 21, the day before Earth Day in New Brunswick, more
than 200 people travelled to Fredericton to rally at the Legislature.
Their concern: an industrial waste landfill dump planned for Grand Lake
area near Chipman, NB -- and to be built by and for J.D. Irving Ltd. This
scheme poses an enormous contamination risk to the the freshwater ecosystem
in the centre of the province. The mass delegation was demanding that
the Minister of the Environment initiate an Independent Environmental
Assessment into the scheme.
environment minister Brenda Fowley declined their request to meet on the
Legislature steps. "Many people felt strongly that she should have
at least made an appearance to show her respect for us", the group
noted in a recent release. "The Minister offered to meet a small
group (of 4 or 5) inside."
that meeting the Minister said construction of the landfill would not
begin in June 2004 (as proposed) and "there would be no surprises."
delegation's news release points out: "The project is in Phase 2.
The Department of the Environment is still reviewing the application,
so keep on sharing information we have with them. The Irvings are planning
a public meeting -- date to be announced. She cannot determine whether
an independent environmental assessment is required until Phase 2 is finished."
site will receive waste from J.D. Irving operations: fly ash, bottom ash,
lime mud, and grits and dregs from Irving's pulp and paper mill in Saint
John and "may include paper mill sludge, wood wastes and other bulk
wastes for which alternative methods may not be available in the future"
Irving's pulp and paper mill in Saint John? In 1999, it was producing
3,663 tonnes of pollutants annually, primarily methanol.
day after the rally on the steps of the Legislature, on April 22nd, Irving
Oil was a lead promoter of Earth Day -- in Vermont, a name that originates
as a corruption of the phrase "Green Mountain", in another language.
Well, pardon our French.
Irving's massive industrial waste landfill dump in Grand Lake
is this a bad idea?
Location, location, location!
In the Grand Lake watershed
by Coal Creek stream (feeds directly into Grand Lake) and Crown Lands
rock in the area is badly fractured due to years of heavy blasting and
deep strip mining. Where bedrock is fractured, wastes cannot be located
if they escape
soils in the project area are subject to "severe risk of erosion."
(Agriculture Canada Water Erosion risk mapping, 1992)
is some geological evidence that Coal Creek sits on a fault line. The
Current Department of Environment Site Selection Guidelines state:
waste site should be located where a considerable thickness of relatively
impermeable material exists. Highly fractured bedrock zones which can
be associated with major faults or areas located along the axial surfaces
of regional folds should be avoided" (4.0 Hydrogeological Criteria
page A-5 Subsection 4.3)
The bedrock has high potential for acid generation if disturbed
Massive -- approximately 180 hectares (360 acres) in size
first waste cells would be slightly larger than two football fields and
about four and a half stories deep (or high), where approximately 70 thousand
tons of the waste stream will be dumped annually (12 year capacity)
Additional industrial waste landfill cells (Phase 2 and Phase 3) are proposed
on adjacent crown lands (for remainder of 50 years)
and loss of habitat
A wetland will be used for sediment control and site runoff
Wood turtles (designated as a Species of Special Concern), salmon, brook
trout and beaver habitat will be threatened
Bald eagles presently nest in the vicinity
Leach tests show residues are highly alkaline - pH levels up to 12.5 Acceptable
range is 6.5 - 9 (The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment
(CCME)) Contaminants of concern are
High levels of dissolved metals, up to 10 times the CCME acceptable levels,
including Aluminum and Copper
Significant amounts of reactive alkali and sulphide in grits and dregs
Soluble sulphide and acetic acid if paper mill sludge is added, both of
which are known to contribute to BOD5.
guidelines for Fresh Water Aquatic Life require that waste treatment must
eliminate all possible BOD5 before leachate is released.
"Toxicity can vary greatly with water hardness and alkalinity and
is unpredictable when substances are in combination" Substances,
will be in combination in this industrial waste landfill.
Irving will not know how they will treat the chemical compounds in the
leachate until the project is underway. Leachate will be kept in a holding
pond on the site for up to a year until they do.
The "leachate" when treated is destined for Grand Lake via Coal
Creek or, in the 'worst possible scenario case, trucked for disposal elsewhere.
shows us that all landfills eventually leak. Then the hazardous compounds
in the land disposal facility will likely migrate into the broader environment.
Man-made permeable materials used for liners are subject to being punctured
and eventual deterioration. This may occur years after placement of the
waste in the facility.
can you do?
email or write the Minister of the Environment, the Minister of Tourism,
The Premier or your local MLA
Minister of the Environment
concerned citizens in your area and take stand
a comprehensive, independent environmental assessment
NOW before it is too late!
Opponents to the Grand Lake Industrial Waste Landfill Site
Randy Nason (506) 339-5448
Ann Leavitt (506) 339-6179
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