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  Anti-dump group seeks help from OFA members

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  • RUSSELL -- One of the groups opposing the proposed mega-landfill in rural Ottawa just outside Russell Township is calling on Ontario Federation of Agriculture members to send comments on this proposed use of land in an agricultural community to Terry Otto at the OFA.

    In its media release, the Citizens' Environmental Stewardship Association -- East of Ottawa, which organizes the Dump the Dump Now campaign and is affiliated with a neighbouring group's Dump This Dump 2 campaign, said, "When the Taggart Miller Environmental Assessment Report was circulated to the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) and the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario, there were no comments or concerns made on the proposal. The OFA told us they did not respond because none of their members had raised any concerns. We have an opportunity now to get them to comment, but they need to hear from their members who live in the same jurisdiction as the proposed mega-dump."

    The release asks OFA member farmers with opinions on the Capital Region Resource Recovery Centre (crrrc.ca) project proposed by Taggart Miller Environmental Services to contact Otto, who is the OFA Ottawa representative, by telephone or e-mail at 613-821-1428 or otto@ncf.ca. Major concerns about the site include water contamination and air pollution.

    The media release included a presentation which said, "Nearby residences obtain drinking water from dug wells into the silty sand layer at about 5-6m depth." It mentioned a nearby dairy farm which gets all of its water from one groundwater-fed, drilled well, milks 100-110 cows and produces 1.25-million litres of milk per year. Including calves and heifers the total herd drinks 6,000 gallons of water per day in the summer and 3,000 gallons per day in the winter. One cow drinks an average of 140 litres of water and produces 32 litres of milk per day. Another 60-80 gallons of water per day is used for washing. The release asks, ""What guarantees can the government provide that these farms will not be adversely affected by a failure in the containment systems around the landfill and what compensation will be made if the critical groundwater aquifers supplying water to these farms are polluted by a leaking landfill?"

    The other worry is air pollution. The release states, "We expect that particulate matter and other air pollutants (hydrogen sulphide, vinyl chloride and noxious odours) from the landfill operation and the organic processing facility will be mostly distributed within a 5km radius of the site, but will be transported far beyond this area by the prevailing winds toward Vars and North Russell Township."

    Farmers already have high exposure to pollutants like methane, ammonia, mould and particulates. A landfill nearby could add to a cumulative health effect.

    For more information on the proposal see www.crrrc.ca, www.dumpthedumpnow.ca and http://www.dumpthisdump2.ca.

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    Your Farm Connection

    Allan Earle


    Eastern Ontario AgriNews is published on the third Monday of each month. The printed version is distributed free by postal mail to farms in Eastern Ontario, Canada.

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