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Ramsay announces legislation to ban Adams Mine landfill

ADAMS MINE TRASHED –– Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay, left, and Terry Graves of Public Concern Timiskaming discussed some of the details of the province's new proposed legislation which will ban the use of the Adams Mine as a landfill site.


Tuesday, April 06, 2004 - 08:00

Tri-Towns News - Temiskaming Shores:

After more than a dozen years of controversy and bitter dispute, the death knell has sounded for the Adams Mine garbage proposal.

Ontario Natural Resources Minister and Timiskaming-Cochrane MPP David Ramsay received several standing ovations at the New Liskeard community hall Monday as he announced government plans to enact legislation to ban the use of the former Adams Mine as a landfill site.

“This will stop the Adams Mine once and for all,” Ramsay said, as the capacity crowd of more than 200 people applauded. “This will mean no other community will have to go through what we went through.”

Specifically, the legislation would amend the Environmental Protection act to ban the use of all lakes as landfill sites. Under the legislation a lake is defined as any body of surface water larger than one hectare that results from human activities “and directly influences or is directly influenced by groundwater.

The legislation, named the Adams Mine Lake Act 2004, would also void any approvals and permits related to the Adams Mine project issued by the Ministry of Environment and nullify any applications for permits under consideration by the Ministry .

It would also extinguish any agreement of purchase and sale of the adjacent Crown land that may have been entered into by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the owner of the Adams Mine. Any related legal action against the Crown that may exist on the date the legislation comes into effect would also be extinguished by the legislation and prevent further legal action being taken against the province as a result of the legislation.

The legislation does require the province to pay the owner of the mine compensation for “expenses incurred,” a figure which could amount to millions of dollars.

Ramsay said putting the issue to rest will also allow area communities to shift their focus to other worthwhile initiatives.

“The Adams Mine has for too long drained the energy and resources of local communities,” Ramsay said. “Literally thousands of people have expressed these same concerns. This is good news for the people of Timiskaming.”

Pierre Belanger of Public Concern Timiskaming –– a group which has been at the forefront in opposing the Adams Mine project –– expressed hope the new legislation will also help end the animosity that has been simmering between the northern and southern parts of Timiskaming district.

“This is exactly what we've wanted for years,” Belanger said. “It's the final solution, not another moratorium. We've been used of half measures and a tactical war for the past 13 years. This may put an end to the hostilities. I'm overjoyed. We can all finally get on with our lives.” Public Concern member Terry Graves said he too is “ecstatic” about the announced legislation. “We have to change the way waste is seen,” he said. “This (project) has been a dinosaur thrashing its tail for the past few years. Now the thrashing has stopped.”

The legislation is part of a new provincial waste management strategy, which among other things calls for 60 per cent diversion of waste from landfills. A discussion paper will be released by the province with options for achieving the 60 per cent target and how they might be implemented “in an economic and practical manner.”

The province's clearcut stance is good news politically for Ramsay who had previously vowed to resign if his Liberal government permitted the Adams Mine project to proceed.

ID- 63478

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