"Adams Mine is D-E-D. Dead! I will do everything to make sure it's never reopened...
I will not support Adams Mine and will go after anybody who tries to open it at council."
Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman, October 2000

Enquest / Elementa Moves from "Pilot" to "Demonstration"  with Waste Project

Composter of Ill Repute Eyes Crown Land in Nairn Cente

Lack of Response from MOE and Enquest force Northwatch to Withdraw Hearing Request

Sault Ste. Marie Hazardous Waste Project Challenged - MOE Refused to Provide Information

Waste Experiment in Sault Ste. Marie "Not Incineration"

Adams Mine Lake Act Becomes Law - the Dump is Dead

Adams Mine Victory! New Legislation Outlaws Proposed Dump, Cancels Permits

Liberals Fail to Act on Adams Mine Promise

Adams Mine Declared # 1 Issue in Timiskaming
Election Night Pledge to Kill the Project, Northeast Goes Tory-Free in Liberal Election Sweep

Water Expert Issues Damning Report Over Adams Mine

Northeastern Ontario Faces Threat of Adams Mine Dump ... Again

ACTION ALERT - Stockwell Tells Toronto To Get Ready for Adams Mine

Adams Mine in the News - May 2003

Secret Adams Mine Meeting: Questions about CN Role in Creating Unrest in Michigan

Toronto Trash Turned Back At Border; Trash Talk Turns Up in Back Room ... Again

Battle Looms as Keele Valley Closes

Northeastern Smart Growth Panel Says it will consider supporting Adams Mine

Coalition Petitions for Federal Environmental Assessment of Adams Mine Dump (2000)

Court Rejects Citizens' Case to Stop the Adams Mine Super-Dump (1999)

Adams Mine Given Scoped EA, Panel Defers Decision to MOE Bureaucrat (1998)

Backgrounder on the Adams Mine Proposal

More Info on the Adams Mine

Enquest / Elementa Moves from "Pilot" to "Demonstration" with Waste Project in Sault Ste. Marie

According to Elementa Group's web site (previoiusly known as Enquest) their Sault Ste. Marie piolot project is about to be ramped up to a "fully operational, Elementa Commercial Demonstration Plant". The first in Canada, they tell us.

An environmental screening is underway, with open houses scheduled for the week of March 2nd to 6th. Details of the open house are posted on the web site, but no other information about the review process or how to get involved.

A story in the March 2nd edition of the Sault Star erroneously states that "during the first Environmental Assessment process when the company was establishing its pilot project, there were no objectors to the plant, including North Bay-based Northwatch, which withdrew its objections once its questions on the process had been answered."

The pilot project referred to was not the subject of an environmental assessment. There was a limited opportunity for the public to comment on the company's application for a certificate of approval to permit them to discharge pollutants, but the project was exempted from the requirement for an environmental assessment process. And even the current process is not a full environmental assessment. It is an "environmental screening", although there will be an opportunity for the public to request that the project be "elevated" to a full environmental assessment towards the end of the review.

At the time of withdrawing our request for a hearing before the Environmental Review Tribunal in January 2007, Northwatch's concerns remained unchanged, and this is clearly stated on the public registry. We withdrew our request for a hearing this was to review the pilot project - not because our concerns had been satisfied, but because we had not received the documentation we had requested from the Ministry of the Environment and the company, and the rules of the Environmental Tribunal did not allow us to go forward  without the written evidence. We filed a formal request for information with the Ministry of the Environment in 2006 and paid $180 in fees, but have yet to receive the information, more than three years later.

Element also has a proposal to amend theor existing Provisional Certificate of Approval "No. 9050-6VYLXZ issued for a Pilot Plant to be used for transfer, processing and thermal degradation of solid non-hazardous waste" to add a screw feed auger and an oil-based scrubber (using bio-diesel). The proposal is posted for public comment until March 4th.

March 3, 2010

Composter of Ill Repute Eyes Crown Land in Nairn Cente
Nairn Centre Smells a Possible Mega-Composting Deal

Seemingly unphased by the experience of the residents of Newmarket or the fierce opposition by the residents of the French River, the Council of the Township of Nairn and Hyman has issued an invitation to Halton Recycling to consider setting up their next mega-composting project in their community.

Halton Recycling Inc. is a notorious operator that has been entangled in a series of legal proceedings initiated against them by both the Ministry of the Environment and the City of Newmarket related to their composting operations in Newmarket.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled that the composting company whose odours had distressed workers and residents for two years shut down its operations if it fails to carry out its proposed plan to eliminate off-site smells within 90 days.  "The residents and persons living in the vicinity of the Halton facility have endured the offensive odours for more than two years. I have considered the frequency and intensity of the offensive odours. Although the emissions are not toxic, they have caused headaches, nausea, and other health problems," wrote Bryant in the September 2006 decision.  "The emissions have caused an adverse effect, namely the loss of enjoyment of the normal use of property and interference with normal conduct of business...."  During the nine-day hearing, the Town of Newmarket said it had recorded 1,069 odour complaints about Halton over a two-year period from July 2004 onward. In April 2005, the town had instituted a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week, on-call service to respond to the large number of complaints made about smells attributed to Halton. A bylaw enforcement officer's affidavit said that except on rare occasions the complaint could be traced to Halton and described the stench "as putrid, very foul, dirty, musty, and gross."  The chief building officer and director of bylaws said he visited Halton on at least 50 occasions and said it stank of rotting garbage that varied from mild to nauseating.

 "Local residents described the odours as bad, putrid, pungent, sickening, horrendous, foul, obnoxious, and smelling like feces," wrote Bryant. "The complainants' evidence was that the odours caused gagging, penetrated their homes spoiling meals and social events, and their use and enjoyment of the homes."

It took a half year for the Municipality of the French River to finally reverse their decision to rezone a piece of property to accommodate  Halton Recycling Ltd. development of  a composting and recycling facility in the area. Council first approved an application by Halton Recycling Ltd. to rezone 330 acres of land on Highway 535, about four kilometres north of Noelville, in August.  Local residents mounted an energetic campaign against the project, saying it would be an environmental hazard and reduce property values and negatively affect recreation and tourism in the area. Council's about face came after months of intense public pressure to halt the proposal.

On January. 16, French River council directed its lawyers to apply to Superior Court to have the rezoning bylaw voided. Mayor Collin Bourgeois said they changed their minds on the grounds the company behind the development did not follow through on its word to hold a public meeting in the municipality.  Councillors initially were attempting to get a Superior Court judge to quash the bylaw in a hearing that began in late March. But instead of returning to court to argue further later this month, council decided to simply repeal the bylaw after receiving written notice that Halton Recycling would not oppose the repeal of the rezoning bylaw.

Reportedly in the "exploratory stages" of bringing the mega-composting development to Nairn, the Mayor of Nairn Centre says the muncipality is in discussions with Halton Recycling. Company representative Bill Palmer made a presentation to council on January 14th, following which the Council passed a resolution directing their Chief Administrative Officer to prepare a draft memorandum of agreement between the Township of Nairn & Hyman and Halton Recycling Ltd. that was to be presented at the next council meeting for review. Subsequent council meetings minutes do not include any reference to Halton Recycling.

According to media reports, Halton Recycling Ltd. is looking to procure a piece of what Mayor Channon calls "scrubbed" Crown land adjacent to the town's landfill site on Sand Bay Road. The town is also looking at developing a "green" industrial park on the land, which would house a composting operation and other environmental industries, the Mayor said. The Mayor estimates that the Halton development would bring 20 direct jobs to the area. Nairn and Hyman has been suffering from job loses in the wake of the closure of Domtar's saw mill.


Lack of Response from MOE and Enquest force Northwatch to Withdraw Hearing Request

January 17, 2007

Northwatch has informed the Environmental Review Tribunal that they are withdrawing their request for leave to appeal two certificates of approval issued by the Ministry of the Environment to a waste treamtement facility proposed for Sault Ste. Marie.

Northwatch stated in their letter to the Tribunal that their concerns remain unchanged, and that the reasons for withdrawing their application for leave to appeal are not because of any new-found confidence in Enquest Power Corporation's proposal to operate a pilot project energy-from-waste facility in Sault Ste. Marie.  Northwatch's reasons for withdrawing are process based. Becuase the Ministry of the Environment has failed to provide responses to Northwatch's requests for copies of the approvals issued by the Ministry of the Environment or to their information request,  which was for details of the proposed project, some of which Northwatch had been allowed to read by refused a copy of.  Without the requested documents Northwatch was unable to provide the written evidence required by the Tribunal's rules.

The concerns outlined in Northwatch's comments of August 2006 remain unaddressed.

Northwatch's letter of withdrawal

Posting of final decision on the Environmental Bill of Rights electronic registry

For Immediate Release
December 20, 2006

Sault Ste. Marie Hazardous Waste Project Challenged
Ministry of the Environment Refused to Provide Information

Northeastern Ontario - The Ministry of the Environment has approved an experimental waste project in Sault Ste. Marie which environmental groups are concerned will harm the environment. The Ministry is refusing to disclose what  information they used to support their decision to grant the approvals.

Enquest Power Corporation has been granted an approval to operate an experimental incineration project in Sault Ste. Marie which will use heat and steam to treat five different waste materials, including woodwaste, coal, sewage sludge, paper sludge and municipal waste. Northwatch is asking Ontario's Environmental Review Tribunal to hold a hearing to review whether the Ministry of the Environment had enough information to conclude that the project would not cause environmental problems.

"This project is using an experimental technology, and we're not convinced that it is an environmentally responsible way to deal with waste", said Brennain Lloyd, coordinator with Northwatch.

"It's going to release pollutants into the air, but the project proposal submitted by the company is very sketchy on how they determined which contaminants would be released and how much contamination will be released. It's also going to produce a large volume of leachate, which is going to go into the municipal sewage system. This could result in problems at the sewage treatment plant and in higher levels of contamination going into the St. Mary's River"

Northwatch reviewed the proposal in August, and provided the Ministry of the Environment with a written review which identified several areas of environmental concern, including potentially high levels of contamination being released into the local sewer system and grave uncertainties about the quality of discharges to the air. When the Ministry posted an electronic notice stating that  it had issued certificates of approval for the project in early December, Northwatch requested that the Ministry of the Environment provide copies of any new information that the Ministry had received from Enquest Power which MOE was relying on to approve the project.

On December 19th Northwatch filed a preliminary application for leave to appeal the approvals with the Environmental Review Tribunal, indicating that a full application would be provided after the Ministry of the Environment had responded to Northwatch's information request, or that Northwatch would withdraw their application if the Ministry had in fact received adequate information to support their approvals. On December 20th, the Ministry of the Environment informed Northwatch that they would not be providing any additional information or a copy of the final certificates of approval. Northwatch has now filed a Request for the same information under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

- 30 -

Northwatch is a regional environmental coalition operating throughout northeastern Ontario. More information about Northwatch

                                       Northwatch's Application to the Environmental Review Tribunal

Waste Experiment in Sault Ste. Marie "Not Incineration"

Enquest Power Corporation has applied for approvals from the Ministry of the Environment to operate an experimental waste treatment plant on the 5th Line in Sault Ste. Marie. The twelve- month pilot project, designed to "determine the optimum operating parameters required to generate combustible gas from carbon containing materials" may become a permanent fixture. According to the company's web site "A fully functioning commercial prototype will be installed on the same site following the successful launch of the technology demonstration plant."

The process involves heating waste materials  to a high temperature, between 750 and 950 degrees Celsius, in the presence of steam, either in an indirectly heated, natural gas fired kiln or an electric kiln. The materials to be used in a series of tests will include woodwaste, coal, sewage sludge, paper sludge and municipal waste.

Prior to release into the atmosphere, the gas will be treated using a system that includes a quench cooler, venturi scrubber with caustic scrubbing media, demister, carbon filter and a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. The treated gas will then be combusted using an enclosed flare.

The proponent, EnQuest Power Corporation, describes the project as using a new proprietary technology that converts waste streams into energy without incineration.

Both the Ministry of the Environment and Enquest Power refused to provide Northwatch with a copy of the project description or studies supporting Enquest's application. Copies of the permitting documents were made available for public review in the Sault Ste. Marie office of the Ministry of the Environment on July 18th, approximately half- way through the 30 day comment period. The comment deadline is August 11th.  The EBR posting at envregistry/028123ei.htm

View Northwatch Comments on the Enquest Proposal, August 2006

Northwatch News, Summer 2006

Adams Mine Lake Act Becomes Law - the Dump is Dead

The Adams Mine Lake Act passed by a vote of 63 to 18 in the Provincial Legislature on June 17th. The Lieutenant Governor General was in the house that evening to sign the Bill into law, making the abandoned iron ore mine near Kirkland Lake permanently off-limits as a dump for solid waste.

The Act revokes all existing approvals for the Adams Mine site as a landfill and prevents the site from ever being used for that purpose.  The legislation also amends the Environmental Protection Act to prevent the use of other lakes that are larger than one hectare in size as landfill sites.

The previous week, the Minister of the Environment released a discussion paper that sets out approaches for a strategy to divert 60 per cent of Ontario's waste from disposal by 2008 and announced that five public forums would be held across the province in late June to discuss waste diversion issues.

Northwatch News, Summer 2004

Adams Mine Victory! New Legislation Outlaws Proposed Dump, Cancels Permits

The Adams Mine dump scheme is, once again, dead. But this time it looks like it might really stay that way, with new legislation introduced on April 5th that would repeal any previous approvals granted the controversial mega-dump, and make it illegal to place garbage in any lakes over 1 hectare in size. The Adams Mine, an abandoned open pit mine now filling with water, was first dubbed "Adams Lake" by residents of the region who have been fighting the various proposals to ship Toronto garbage to the mine site since 1989.

The announcement was made concurrently in Queens Park in Toronto and a crowded community hall in New Liskeard, south of the Adams Mine. Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky received a standing ovation as she introduced the proposed Adams Mine Lake Act, which if passed would permanently ban the on-again, off-again proposal to turn the abandoned open-pit mine near Kirkland Lake into a garbage dump.

"The endless proposals and challenges around Adams Mine have created too much uncertainty, and for too long have drained the energy and resources of local communities," Dombrowsky told a news conference. "It would be totally inconsistent and unacceptable, given our priorities, to ever allow garbage to be dumped in a lake."

At the news conference in New Liskeard, the room erupted repeatedly with cheers and ovations as the Liberal member for Timiskaming and long-time Adams Mine opponent David Ramsay delivered the news.

"There were two standing ovations, lots of hugging, and lots of tears," said Charlie Angus, who has devoted much of the last 14 years to fighting the plan. "We're getting our lives back. There's lots of other things we want to put our efforts into, and it's not just fighting, it's building."

The announcement was made as part of a package of related initiatives, including:
  a commitment to release a discussion paper this spring to consult on options for achieving the 60 per cent waste diversion target, including greater recycling in the private sector, developing new markets for recycled materials, increasing organic diversion, and examining the expansion of central composting facilities and the role of new technologies to support waste diversion;
  an expert panel to produce recommendations on improvements to the environmental assessment process; and
  a draft framework agreement between Ontario and the federal government that would address duplication and overlap in the environmental assessment process.

The Adams Mine Lake Act, 2004 will prohibit the use of lakes as landfill sites through an amendment to the Environmental Protection Act, and will prevent the use of the Adams Mine site as a landfill, and void any approvals and permits related to the Adams Mine project issued by the Ministry of the Environment prior to the date the legislation coming into effect or currently under consideration. It will also extinguish any agreement of purchase and sale of the adjacent Crown land that may have been entered into between the Ministry of Natural Resources and the owner of the Adams Mine, and extinguish any related legal action against the Crown. The legislation requires the province to pay the owner of the Adams Mine compensation for expenses incurred, and for which receipts can be shown.

The Act went through First Reading in the provincial legislature on April 5th, and  Second Reading was debated on April 20th and  22nd.

Northwatch News, Spring 2004

Liberals Fail to Act on Adams Mine Promise

Public Concern Temiskaming is preparing for a major spring campaign to target Premier Dalton McGuinty over his refusal to act over the Adams Mine issue. McGuinty campaigned on a promise to stop development of the dump until a full EA review had been initiated. PCT had been telling opponents of the Adams Mine to give the new government time to develop a strategy for implementing this campaign promise. But it's become increasingly clear to PCT that the new government doesn't have the will to stop the progress of Adams Mine.

Terry Graves of PCT says the government has all the ammunition it needs in order to call for an environmental review of the project. In early December, the MOE was given a damning report by Dr. Ken Howard, lead scientific voice in the Walkerton Inquiry. But the government has done nothing to act on this evidence. Graves is concerned that Dalton McGuinty is delaying any action because of the threatened $301 million lawsuit being levied by his cousin, dump promoter Gordon McGuinty.

Northwatch News, Winter 2004

Adams Mine Declared # 1 Issue in Timiskaming
Election Night Pledge to Kill the Project, Northeast Goes Tory-Free in Liberal Election Sweep

In at least one northeastern Ontario riding, environmental issues were front and centre throughout the election debates and in the voting booth, as Timiskaming incumbent MPP and Adams Mine opponent David Ramsay swept to an easy victory.

"The number one issue is the Adams Mine," declared Ramsay on election night. "My pledge is that we will put it to bed once and for all. We've got to kill that project."

Ramsay has been a long term opponent of the Adams Mine. "None of my Liberal colleagues believe in the Adams Mine," Ramsay added, while speaking with friends and supporters at an election night party at his election headquarters.

Debate over the Adams Mine issue was not restricted to Timiskaming riding, where the mega dump would be located. The question was posed to candidates by CBC Northeastern Ontario  radio, and raised in local candidates meetings throughout the region. When candidates in Algoma-Manitoulin were asked how they felt about Toronto sending garbage to Kirkland Lake's Adams Mine, only the Tory candidate showed any support. The other three candidates were opposed, generally expressing a belief that Toronto should be responsible to solve its own problem.

"We should not be sending our resources south and taking their garbage back to the North," Green Party candidate Ron Yurick said. Tory candidate Terry McCutcheon felt if it could be proved there was no environmental threat and Kirkland Lake wanted to receive the waste, there could be economic benefits.

However, not all Green Party candidates were as clear on the issue. Nipissing candidate Jaimie Board told CBC Radio that she supports southern Ontario garbage being brought to Nipissing for reprocessing, a position quickly rebutted by Green Party leader.
The Liberals swept to power on October 2nd, taking 72 ridings, with the Conservatives winning 24 and the NDP winning seven. When the legislature was dissolved, the Tories held 56 seats, the Liberals 36 and the New Democrats nine.

Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty included a commitment to "clean air and clean water" in his election night victory speech, but election watchers are saying McGuinty is going to have to move quickly to give confidence that his government will truly be greener than his slash and burn Tory predecessors. During the final days of the campaign, Liberals were seen by some to be backpedaling on the Adams Mine. McGuinty was reported as refusing to rule out the controversial idea of using the abandoned Adams mine in northern Ontario to dump Toronto's garbage in a talk to the Toronto Board of Trade, saying instead that he has yet to be convinced it would be environmentally sound or that the people of Kirkland Lake like the idea.

The Liberals will have a chance to prove themselves soon enough, with decisions about to be made on whether the Ministry of the Environment will issue permits to drain the water- filled pits to allow construction of the mega-dump to begin, despite the lack of other permits or any customers. At the same time, the Ministry of Natural Resources is about to decide whether to hand over hundreds of acres at a bargain basement price to the newest consortium of Adams Mine dump promoters.

Northwatch News, Fall 2003

Water Expert Issues Damning Report Over Adams Mine

Earlton -- The Adams Mine dump proposal was approved on the basis of "seriously flawed" and "effectively worthless" scientific information. That's the conclusion of a new report on the controversial dumpsite prepared by Dr. Ken Howard, lead consultant with the Walkerton Inquiry. The report, commissioned by the Temiskaming Federation of Agriculture (TFA), reviewed modeling predictions made during the 1998 EA process. Dr. Howard's report is scathing in its condemnation of the Ministry of Environment Approval's Process. Full Story

August 12, 2003

Northeastern Ontario Faces Threat of Adams Mine Dump ... Again

A highly controversial proposal to ship Toronto's garbage 8 hours north for dumping in an abandoned open pit mine has been pushed back into the limelight, amid a rash of controversies and charges of unfair dealing. Secret land deals, million dollar political donations and interference from the highest level of government have all been part of the picture as garbage entrepreneur and recently convicted tax evader Gordon McGuinty of Notre Development tries once again to lure Toronto trash away from the waste company currently contracted to ship the municipality's solid waste to private landfills in Michigan.

When the City of Toronto walked away from the deal in the fall of 2000 because of liability concerns, local residents breathed a sigh of relief, after having fought the deal for more than decade. But accounts of meetings in February between Notre Development and CN Rail to map out a strategy to foment discontent over Toronto's shipping of garbage to Michigan signaled an end to that respite. In the intervening months tension has steadily built, as local activists and politicians drew the connecting lines between several powerful new players backing the most recent version of the Adams Mine deal.

New on the scene is Mario Cortellucci, a multi-millionaire land developer in the Toronto region. Cortellucci is also the new owner of the Adams Mine, and the single largest donor to the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, having donated over a million dollars since the Conservatives came to power in 1995.

One of the issues at the heart of the current controversy is a land deal which would see the Province of Ontario sell Cortellucci  2,000 acres of land surrounding the mine pits - the land acquisition is key to the project going ahead - for just $22 per acre. Not only is this well below market price, but the Ministry of Natural Resources has failed to follow usual procedures.

No public notice was given of the proposed disposition, and consultation with the affected Aboriginal communities did not take place. The deal is currently under review within the Ministry, and a local residents group is taking the case to the Ontario Ombudsmen for further investigation. The group is also accepting pledges to buy anywhere from one to ten acres for $30 per acre to "Save the North". They are assembling a counter-proposal to purchase the contested land package. Pledges started rolling in as soon as word went out, organizers say.

At the same time, however, Cortellucci's claim to title for the original property is the subject of a $10 million law suit by waste giant Canada Waste Services. The CWS lawsuit is alleging that dump promoter Notre Development shouldn't have sold the Adams Mine site to the Cortellucci Group because CWS had a $4.6 million lien on the property, as well as a right of first refusal over any new Adams Mine dealings.

Cortellucci hired a consultant this past spring to rally support for the Adams Mine and promote opposition to the shipment to Michigan, a move that coincided nicely with the Notre Development /CN Rail strategizing and with (then) Minister of the Environment Chris Stockwell's own enthusiasm for sending Toronto's garbage north. When the border closed briefly to Toronto garbage in mid-May, purportedly in response to concerns about Mad Cow disease, Stockwell responded by threatening to force other Ontario municipalities to take Toronto's garbage, saying "Toronto should find an alternative to shipping its garbage to Michigan". Stockwell has been an adamant supporter of the Adams Mine "option", even making it part of his failed run for party leadership. Toronto Works Committee chair Brad Duguid says that Toronto wants to solve its own garbage problems through recycling and new technologies to eliminate landfilling by 2010.

Meanwhile, area farmers have been monitoring water levels in the pit, and recently released their findings, which support contentions made during a narrowly scoped environmental review that the pit would leak. Evidence assembled by the farmers shows that water levels at the Adams Mine pit have stabilized, meaning pit water is now freely flowing into the surrounding groundwater, as had been predicted by independent experts who reviewed the dump proposal.

The Adams Mine dump scheme envisions a million tonnes of solid waste per year being dumped into an abandoned open pit mine. The highly fractured pit is 55 stores deep, and is sunk 300 feet into the water table, at the height of land between the Arctic and Great Lakes watersheds. The 300 million litres of contaminated leachate that would be pumped from the garbage filled pits each year would be released into the Lake Temiskaming watershed, which forms the upper reaches of the Ottawa River. Local residents of this farming region are concerned about the surface water impacts, but also the impacts on groundwater, given the highly fractured nature of the pit and the predictions by several experts that the purported "hydraulic containment" will fail, and contaminants will escape through the pit walls, impacting local and regional groundwater resources.

In response to the farmers releasing their monitoring information, the Adams Mine consortium has taken out a full-page ad in the local paper titled "Shame On You" and calling  farm president John Vanthof and the Temiskaming  Federation of Agriculture liars. Notre Development has also threatened the farmers with legal action, contending that the farmers caused damage to the company by gathering this evidence without the permission of the promoters and by presenting the evidence publicly.

Northwatch News Spring / Summer 2003

Stockwell Pushes Back Clock on 2010 Plan
Tells Toronto To Get Ready for Adams Mine

Wednesday, May 28th - Public Concern Temiskaming  has just learned that Ontario's  Environment Minister Chris Stockwell met on Monday with members of Peel, York and Toronto Works (Angelo Buccopalos). He has given the City two years to get ready for Adams Mine. Stockwell made it clear that he wanted the Michigan contract ended and that the garbage would be going to Adams Mine. This meeting occurred on the same day when Temiskaming farmers were releasing evidence at Queens Park which shows that the water in the Adams Mine pits is already leaking into the surrounding environment. This evidence was ignored by Minister Stockwell.

Last week Stockwell told City officials they had 24 hours to prove they had a "Plan B" for Michigan -- even though City officials had already given Stockwell a Back up Plan over a month ago.

PCT has also learned that the Tories will be pushing through with the secret sale of Crown Land to the Cortellucci Group to make a revival of Adams Mine possible.

Yesterday, Stockwell was accused by Temiskaming MPP David Ramsay of having a conflict of interest for pushing Adams Mine when his own father had been in contact with the Cortellucci Group about their investment plans for Adams Mine. Stockwell made no attempt to deny the charge.

It now appears that Stockwell is recklessly pushing the Adams Mine project which will benefit the Cortellucci Group -- the single biggest contributors to the Tory party.

What You Need To Do:

Contact the following people at Toronto City Hall:

David Miller (running for City Mayor)     Telphone (416) 693-9600         E-Mail
Brad Duguid (Chair Toronto Works)     Telephone (416) 392-0204       E-mail
Barbara Hall (running for City Mayor)    Telephone(416) 227-2272       E-mail

Call Premier Ernie Eves     Telephone (416) 325-1941  E-Mail Ernie!

Adams Mine in the News - May 2003

May 26     "Inexcusable" for Chris Stockwell to Ignore Evidence that Adams Mine Pits Are Leaking

May 25     MOE Ignored Evidence That Adams Mine Pits Leak

May 21     Mad  Stockwell Jumps on Border Glitch to Create Crisis for Adams Mine

May 17     Dump Promoter Convicted of Tax Evasion

May 16     Video of Harris raises dump questions: NDP

May 14     Dump King Returns: Harris Meets Cortellucci's Over Secret Adams Mine Deal

May 9       Developer's Tory party ties run deep - Caught in controversy over land deal

May 8       Legal Battle Raises Questions About Cortellucci's Adams Mine Deal

May 8       Mine land deal would benefit Tory donor, MPP says

May 8       Government accused of secret land deal

Secret Adams Mine Meeting Questions CN's Involvement in
Creating Unrest in Michigan

February 17, 2003

Toronto Details of a secret strategy session between Adams Mine dump promoter Gordon McGuinty and CN execs Keith Heller (VP for Eastern Canada) and Scott Roberts has raised disturbing allegations of a campaign underway to disrupt Toronto's contract with a Michigan waste company. The details of the strategy session were revealed in sworn statements from a North Bay couple that overheard the Monday February 10th meeting held at a North Bay restaurant.

Full Story

Toronto Trash Turned Back At Border; Trash Talk Turns Up in Back Room

Ontario's Ministry of the Environment is investigating whether to lay charges against an unnamed medical-waste handling firm in Peel Region whose load of medical waste was turned back at the U.S. border on its way to a Detroit area landfill after copious amounts of blood was found dripping from the bottom of the truck.  The incident led a coalition of U.S. environmental groups to hold a news conference near the entrance to the Ambassador Bridge, vowing to stop Canada and other states from dumping their trash in Michigan.  To date six loads of Toronto's trash have been turned back in recent months because they contained radioactive material.

Meanwhile, the dark scheme to turn the abandoned Adams Mine into a mega dump for Toronto garbage continues to lurk just below or at surface. Media stations are running polls on whether Toronto should again attempt to send their garbage north (reasonably enough, all Toronto politicians disavow themselves of any notion to reopening or reliving that debate) and Notre Development's garbage entrepreneur Gordon McGuinty is reported to be engaged in private discussions with CN Rail, trying to broker a new trash-by- train deal as CN negotiates their take- over of the Ontario Northland Railway.

February 2003
Visit Public Concern Temiskaming for more information and current news.

Battle over dumpsite looms as landfill closes
Globe and Mail
December 31 2002

Statement from the Adams Mine Coalition
Keele Valley Closing
December 31, 2002

Northeastern Smart Growth Panel Says it will consider supporting Adams Mine

Media reports in early December reported that the "Smart Growth" Panel for Northeastern Ontario was willing to consider a proposal to revive the Adams Mine dump proposal at its December 11 meeting. The Smart Growth Secretariat subsequently denied the media reports, and Smart Growth panel chair Royal Poulin assured Public Concern Temiskaming that the Adams Mine mega-dump was not on the Smart Growth Agenda.

Send email to visit the web site and use the email form provided. Telephone 416-585-6746 or  fax 416-585-7639

Coalition Petitions for Federal Environmental Assessment of the Adams Mine Dump

September 20, 2000

Hon. David Anderson
Minister of Environment
10 Wellington St., 28th Floor
Les Terrasses de la Chaudiere
Hull, P.Q.   K1A 0H3

Dear Minister Anderson:

  Re.  Petition for Environmental Assessment of Proposed Landfill at the Adams Mine, Timiskaming District, Under Sections 46 and 48 of the Environmental Assessment Act, Section 36 of the Fisheries Act

With this submission, we request that you refer the proposed Adams Mine landfill in Timiskaming District, Ontario, for a full environmental assessment by panel review under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA).

The proposed landfill would receive 1.3 million tonnes of mixed solid waste   including some quantities household hazardous waste, farm and agricultural solid waste, biomedical solid waste, construction and demolition debris for a period of at least 20 years. The proposed project would generate up to 312 million litres of contaminated waste water, or landfill leachate, per year, totalling an estimated 83 billion litres over the length of the project. This deleterious substance would be released into the watershed of Lake Temiscaming and the Ottawa River, a surface water system shared by the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Transboundary impacts would affect both provinces, including the province of Quebec where the project is not located, and federal lands, including the reserve lands and traditional territories of the Algonquin people of Timiskaming First Nation. The engineering concept is unproven and untested, and brings with it a high level of risk, particularly to ground and surface water resources in the transboundary watershed.

This petition is being submitted under Section 46(1) of CEAA which gives the Minister the power to refer for panel review a project which may have adverse environmental impacts which are transboundary in their effect, and under  Section 48 (1) (a), (b), and (c), which gives the Minister the power to refer for panel review a project which may have adverse impacts on lands in which there is a federal or aboriginal interest. Further, it is the view of the petitioners that a mandatory trigger is in place which requires an environmental assessment of the project under CEAA, given the stated intent of the project to deposit the landfill leachate, a deleterious substance, into waters frequented by fish. Such a deposit is prohibited under the federal Fisheries Act, with the exception of those instances when authorized under the Act. In such cases, a permit  or authorization is required, making the project subject to a mandatory federal environmental assessment.

The petitioners have maintained an active interest in this project since it was first announced in 1989. Many of the petitioners have participated in provincial processes in the Province of Ontario with respect to the review of the project, but, despite these efforts, the evidence shows that the provincial reviews have not considered the Aboriginal interest in the project, or the transboundary impacts. Regrettably, the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has not yet initiated a federal review with respect to the impacts of fish and waters frequented by fish in the timely manner which would have been appropriate to the project and its significance. The petition to refer this matter for panel review is based on a thorough understanding of the project, the review processes it has been subject to, the nature of the impacts, and the provisions of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

In addition, the petitioners request that the reference be accompanied by an order prohibiting the construction of the  proposed landfill under section 50(1) of CEAA. The need for such an order is a matter of urgency. The municipality of the City of Toronto is considering contracting for the disposal of that City's solid waste at the Adams Mine landfill as early as October 3, 2000, with the Regional Municipalities of Durham, Peel and York Regions considering similar contracts within a similar time frame. Further, the proponent has indicated that construction activity is intended to commence in the very near future, with a draft permit for the dewatering of the South Pit of the Adams Mine sought for November 1, 2000. Dewatering the South Pit is the first stage of the landfill's construction.

Attached is a brief supporting this petition. In advance, we thank you for your consideration and for you prompt action in this matter. We would be pleased to provide you with any additional information that would assist you in our decision, which we trust will be provided in the near future, given the urgency of the situation.


Pierre Belanger                                                 Pierre-Alexandre Ayotte
Campaign Against the Adams Mine              Comité de la Sauvergard du lac Témiscamingue

View the Supporting Brief (pdf)

View Record and Transcripts of Emergency Hearing on the Adams Mine Held by the federal Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development. (en francais)


cc:  Hon. Robert Nault
 Hon. Herb Daliwal
 Mr. Benoit Serre
 M. Pierre Brien
 Chief Carol McBride

 List of Petitioners Attached
POSTSCRIPT: Prior to a decision being made by the Minister of whether to proceed with a full federal environmental assessment, contract discussions ended between the City of Toronto and Notre Development, with Toronto's decision to not proceed with the Adams Mine. 

Court Rejects Citizens' Case to Stop the Adams Mine Super-Dump

A panel of 3 judges of Ontario Divisional Court abruptly dismissed the case brought by a Northern Ontario coalition of citizens, farmers and environmentalists against the provincial government for their approval of a mega landfill in an abandoned iron ore mine outside of Kirkland Lake. The case was first filed in September 1998, but was not heard until July 13 of this year.

After hearing only two hours of the estimated day-long presentations in the crowded Toronto court room, the judges dismissed the application. Their reasons, released the following week, take less than two pages (double-spaced!) and generally reflect the judges' views that the Environmental Assessment hearing was a "public consultation", and that a great deal of discretion was available to the Minister, Cabinet and the Environmental Assessment Board.

The Adams Mine Intervention Coalition was challenging the decision of a 3 person Environmental Assessment Board hearing panel which, in June of 1998, had issued a split decision on the question of whether the design proposed by Notre Development would actually collect and contain leachate generated by filling the abandoned open pit mine with 30 million tonnes of southern Ontario garbage. Two of the 3 members agreed to give conditional approval to the proposal, with one of the key conditions being a requirement to do further tests before a final decision could be made.

The third panel member issued a dissenting opinion, citing numerous concerns about the landfill design and the release of leachate into the surrounding watershed which flows through a large farming area and forms the headwaters of the Ottawa River system.  Leachate is the toxic "garbage soup" which is formed when water percolates through the wastes at a dumpsite.  The proposed dump at the Adams Mine Site would produce over 300 million litres of leachate per year according to figures presented by Notre Development Corp., the company that wants to import the garbage.

The Coalition was challenging the Environmental Assessment Board decision on a number of grounds, but a key point of contention is the board's  handing over of  the actual decision on whether the dump could go ahead to a provincial bureaucrat, who made the decision based on new information  provided by the proponent.

The Adams Mine Intervention Coalition is now considering further legal action, but much of their attention over the next 6 to 12 months will be focussed on Toronto City Hall, where a committee of council is reviewing seven different proposals to ship Toronto's garbage hundreds of kilometres outside Toronto for disposal through incineration or mega-dumps. The Coalition includes Northwatch, the Temiscaming Federation of Agriculture, and a number of locally based environmental and residents groups in Nipissing and Timiskaming District.

November 1999

Adams Mine Given Scoped EA, Panel Defers Decision to MOE Bureaucrat

Summary of the Adams Mine Scoped Environmental Assessment

February / March 1998

A fast-tracked environmental assessment hearing on a proposal to bring Toronto's garbage to northern Ontario was held over 15 days in the later winter of 1998.

The hearing was restricted to a technical debate about whether the proposed design will work to keep the leachate from escaping to neighbouring wells, rivers and lakes. While the Environmental Assessment Act requires that the need for a project and alternatives be examined, changes to the legislation last year made it possible for the Minister of the Environment to restrict assessments to a much shorter list of concerns.

June  1998

The 3 person hearing panel issued a split decision on June 19, with two of the three agreeing to a conditional approval of a proposal to convert an abandoned iron ore mine into a 20 million tonne garbage dump. Final approval could be granted by a director with the Ministry of the Environment after further testing of the rock below the proposed garbage pit. The third panel member issued a dissenting opinion, citing concerns about the landfill design and the release of leachate.

Twenty-six conditions were placed on the approval, including some which require further research before a final decision can be made. Critics of the project are concerned that the public is going to be locked out of the review process, and are appealing to cabinet to overturn the hearing panel's decision to hand the final decision over to Ministry bureaucrats, and to ensure that the environmental assessment process remains in the public realm.

August 1998
Cabinet announced its decision to approve the Adams Mine mega-dump. The Harris government went public last week with its approval of a proposed mega-dump near Kirkland Lake. The Adams Mine Intervention Coalition, which was a party in the Environmental Assessment Board hearing, was informed of the government's decision only through media coverage.

The Coalition retained the Canadian Environmental Law Association as legal counsel, and has decided to seek a court review of the decision to approve Notre Development's proposal. The court action will commence shortly, when the group files its judicial review application with the Ontario Divisional Court. Key among the Coalition's legal concerns is the attempt of the hearing panel to hand its decision-making responsibilities to a Ministry of the Environment employee.

MOE EA Summary

Adams Mine Environmental Assessment Decision

Background on the Proposal to turn the Adams Mine into a Garbage Dump

The Adams Mine site is located in Boston Township, in Temiskaming District, approximately half way from Lake Ontario to Hudson's Bay. Over six hundred kilometres north of Toronto, the area is part of traditional Algonquin territory, and research is now being completed by the Algonquin Nations of Lac Temiskaming, Barrier Lake and Wolfe Lake to provide the record of land use for the federal comprehensive land claims process. Located just a few kilometres south of the height of land which divides the Great Lakes watershed from the Arctic watershed, water from the site migrates via the Missena and then the Blanche River into Lake Temiskaming and then down the Ottawa River.

Throughout Temiskaming District, people are opposed to the landfill for both environmental and social reasons. Some key social and economic concerns:

The proposal to convert the Adams Mine - an open pit iron ore mine near Kirkland lake - into a mega dump for Toronto garbage first surfaced in 1989. A decade later, the project has been rejected by previous governments of both Ontario and Toronto, but has been kept "alive" by a private sector promoter.

The Adams Mine Project is a bad design.
The concept and costs are unpredictable. A concept of "hydraulic containment" is being promoted, but it has no track record, and -- even with a maximum investment in control technologies -- there will be no confidence, because there is no case history.

The Adams Mine site is a bad site.
After a quarter of a century of blasting, and given the inherent nature of the rock, the site is extremely fractured; close to the height of land and so at the headwaters for Temiscaming District, the spread of contaminants would be to the water source for 4,000 residents below the Adams mine, including a thriving farm community which depends on plentiful clean water.

There is no willing host.
Estimates are that 90-95% of the area residents are opposed to the proposal to use the Adams Mine site as a disposal site for Toronto's solid waste. Being an "unorganized" township means that Boston Township does not have an elected municipal council. It does not mean that other municipal councils beyond its boundaries can make decisions for it.

The Concept: "Hydraulic Trap Containment"

Notre Development is promoting an unproven technology called "hydraulic trap containment". The theory is that all ground water will flow into the pits, which will be filled with garbage. The water will move through or beside the garbage, becoming contaminated waste water called "leachate". The leachate will be collected at the bottom of the pits, pumped out, and sent through a waste water treatment process before being released into the nearest river.

But here's the most obvious problems:

Summary of Evidence in 1998 E.A. Hearing A three person environmental assessment hearing panel  issued a split decision in June of 1998. Two of the three members gave conditional approval to a proposal to convert an abandoned iron ore mine into a 20 million tonne garbage dump. Final approval was left to a director with the Ministry of the Environment after further testing of the rock below the proposed garbage pit.

 The third panel member issued a dissenting opinion, citing numerous concerns about the landfill design and the release of leachate into the surrounding watershed which flows through a large farming area and forms the headwaters of the Ottawa River system.  Leachate is the toxic "garbage soup" which is formed when water percolates through the wastes at a dumpsite.  The proposed dump at the Adams Mine Site would produce over 300 million litres of leachate per year according to figures presented by Notre Development Corp., the company that wants to import the garbage.

Backgrounder prepared in 1999

For more information visit:

Adams Mine Archives - Highgrader Magazine

Mamowedewin - The Adams Mine Struggle
Timiskaming First Nation

Temiskaming Speaker Archives on the Adams Mine / Toronto Garbage

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