Algonquin Highlands Waste Management Plan – Maple Lake Landfill Expansion
Project information about this environmental assessment.
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Township of Algonquin Highlands
Environmental Approvals Branch
Environmental assessment: approved, March 9, 2011
The purpose of the undertaking is to prepare a waste management plan that defines a waste management strategy for a 25 year period. The preferred alternative is the enhancement of the Township’s waste diversion program and the expansion of capacity at the Township’s Maple Lake waste disposal site to accommodate waste for the next 25 years.
Environmental assessment: approved
Date submitted: February 24, 2010
Expiry of public comment period: April 16, 2010
Expiry of public comment period for ministry review: July 9, 2010
Decision date: March 9, 2011
Terms of reference: approved
Date submitted: June 4, 2004
Expiry of public comment period: July 9, 2004
Decision date: January 17, 2005
An environmental assessment (EA) for the project was submitted on October 30, 2007 with a comment period that expired on December 21, 2007. On February 14, 2008, the proponent withdrew the EA to address issues which were raised during the ministry’s review of the EA. Once additional work was completed, the proponent resubmitted the EA to the ministry for a decision on February 24, 2010. The Minister of the Environment, with the approval of Cabinet, made a decision to allow the proposed undertaking to proceed subject to conditions on March 9, 2011.
The Township of Algonquin Highlands has completed the Algonquin Highlands Waste Management Plan Environmental Assessment, which defines a waste management strategy for the next 25 years. The Preferred Alternative is the enhancement of the Township’s waste diversion program and the expansion of capacity at the Township’s Maple Lake waste disposal site to accommodate waste for the next 25 years. This Maple Lake site expansion is the project subject to approval through this EA under the Environmental Assessment Act. The Maple Lake waste disposal site is located on part Lot 20, Concession 5, in the geographic township of Stanhope and is accessible from McPhail Road, approximately seven kilometers north of Carnarvon.
Several alternatives to the undertaking were explored through the EA process including the expansion of other existing waste disposal sites, new waste disposal site development, waste exportation, and waste importation. The alternatives to the undertaking were evaluated based on natural, social, cultural, and economic environmental criteria.
Presently, the Maple Lake waste disposal site is nearing the end of its design life. The current approved waste disposal area of the Maple Lake waste disposal site is 1.2 hectares. The theoretical maximum approved capacity of the Maple Lake waste disposal site is 46,860 cubic metres. The proposed expansion will increase the waste disposal area of the site to 3.0 hectares. The conceptual design is for an expansion in capacity of 150,000 cubic metres, for a total capacity of 196,860 cubic metres. The conceptual design includes a vertical expansion of the waste pile to 15 metres above the existing ground surface, following the application of cover material. The Maple Lake waste disposal site will continue to accept municipal solid non-hazardous waste. A recycling program is in place to encourage waste diversion.
Three expansion scenarios were explored for the Maple Lake waste disposal site, which were positioned differently over the groundwater divide present at the site. Scenario One of the conceptual design for an expanded waste disposal site proposed that the majority of the expanded landfill footprint be located to the north of the groundwater divide. Scenario Two of the conceptual design proposed that the expanded footprint be placed as far as possible to the south while adjoining the existing waste pile and Scenario Three is located between these two locations. Scenario Three was determined to be the design most beneficial to natural attenuation at the Maple Lake waste disposal site. The Maple Lake is well screened by natural vegetation and topography, which includes two bedrock controlled ridges to the east and west of the waste pile that are significantly greater in elevation than the proposed final contours of the waste pile.
The EA consultation process involved direct consultation with government agencies, First Nations, the public, and other interested persons and stakeholder groups. Four public consultation events were held at a variety of convenient locations in the Township for the purpose of soliciting public comment and opinion, and to relay technical information to the public. Aboriginal communities were consulted throughout the EA process, and were sent updates of project progress at significant milestones.
An environmental monitoring plan is currently in place at the Maple Lake waste disposal site, which focuses on monitoring the groundwater and surface water quality in the vicinity of the site. The monitoring program will continue for the duration of site life, and will continue following closure until the Ministry of the Environment is satisfied that no risks to the public or the environment exist.
Prior to proceeding with construction, the proponent will need to receive all other applicable approvals, including approval under the Environmental Protection Act.
The Waste Management Plan Environmental Assessment Report was submitted to the Ontario Minister of the Environment for formal review and approval, in accordance with Section 6.2(1) of the Environmental Assessment Act and the approved Terms of Reference, on February 24, 2010.
A Notice of Completion of the ministry’s Review was published on June 4, 2010. A five-week public comment period on the Review expired on July 9, 2010, during which time any person could make comments about the proposed undertaking, the EA, and the ministry’s Review. Also during that time, requests for the Minister to refer the application to a hearing were allowed. None were received. After the publication of the Review, a meeting was held by the proponent and the Ministry of the Environment with two Aboriginal communities that requested a meeting.
Terms of reference
The Township of Algonquin Highlands operates five (5) rural waste disposal sites, four within its municipal boundary, and one in an adjacent municipality. The Township estimates that the remaining capacity for management of the Municipality’s solid waste is approximately 5 to 7 years.