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Ontario environment ministry stands by one dust monitor at Stoney Creeks Taro landfill

Ontario environment ministry stands by one dust monitor at Stoney Creeks Taro landfill

A provincial environment ministry official says theres no need to measure dust impacts from upper Stoney Creeks Taro industrial dump on Penny Lane Estates because winds mostly blow the other way.
A provincial environment ministry official said there was no need for dust impacts from Penny Lane Estates’ upper Stoney Creeks Taro Industrial dump. Because winds blow in the other direction, it is not necessary to measure them.

  • A provincial environment ministry official says theres no need to measure dust impacts from upper Stoney Creeks Taro industrial dump on Penny Lane Estates because winds mostly blow the other way.

A provincial environment ministry official says there’s no need to measure dust impacts from upper Stoney Creek’s Taro industrial dump on the neighbourhood south of Mud Street because winds mostly blow the other way.

Michael Durst, Hamilton district supervisor, said that homes in Penny Lane Estates are further from the site than those in the Nash neighbourhood. He also mentioned that the existing monitor is located nearby.

He said the monitor’s data from the past year show there were fewer than six days where dust levels exceeded provincial 24-hour guidelines, and they were mostly from other sources like area construction and road dust.

“There’s just not a concern for impacts from dust or particulate matter on the southern portion,” Durst told the dump’s community liaison committee at its online March 8 quarterly meeting.

CLC community members questioned the dump’s dust monitoring in December, expressing concern that problems will increase as an 2019 expansion approvedThe waste is piled higher and filled an 18-hectare northern section of Green Mountain Road.

“The likelihood of impacts to the southern properties or the southern residential areas is very low, which is why there has been no recommended monitoring there,” Durst said.

“The northern properties, given the predominant wind direction, that’s why the monitor’s located there, because the likelihood of impact is much greater given where the landfilling will move to in the next few phases.”

Community member Jeff Isowa said the dust data is “a little surprising” because Taro moved earth berms blocking views of the dump closer to Upper Centennial Parkway earlier this year.

“They were moving a tonne of dirt all over, and they were moving it really, really high,” he said. “I question what’s actually being monitored there.”

Isowa said the call for a second monitor also reflected concerns the existing one is used to justify findings that odour complaints to the south aren’t dump related.

Site manager Lorenzo Alfano said moving the berms wouldn’t have created dust because the dirt was “pretty wet.”

“The monitor doesn’t lie. If it picks up a hit, it’ll record the hit,” he said, adding readings are monitored by a third-party firm.

Alfano explained that the existing monitor also records wind direction and speed at any time. This helps to determine whether odours may have originated from the site.

“If it’s blowing the opposite way, it’s impossible,” he said.

Coun. Brad Clark said the ministry’s dust analysis is helpful because he’d asked city staff to consider installing a monitor at a municipal storm retention pond near the Trafalgar Drive entryway to Penny Lane Estates.

“I would rather have them placed in areas where there is a real concern and a potential risk rather than putting it in a location where the chances are minimal,” he said.

But Clark said he’d like more ministry information on dust impacts on the Nash neighbourhood, especially by the northwest corner of Green Mountain Road and First Road West, where the public board plans to build an elementary school.

Although wind patterns suggest dust isn’t an issue, “there have been residents who have raised it as a concern,” he said.

Durst said data from September to February show that the wind rarely blew toward the school site and did so lightly, but he will provide more data at the committee’s June meeting.

Alfano stated construction of the liner for Green Mountain Road’s expansion would begin when the weather is good.

Clark asked if the seeding of the new earth berms can include wildflowers “to get some colour” and help local efforts to create pollinator corridors.

Alfano said that the site uses a mix of hardy grasses. However, he will request wildflowers be added to the mix even though the grasses might overpower them.


STORY BEHIND the STORY We attended the CLC meeting on March 8, to follow-up on dust concerns raised at the December meeting by community members.

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