Concerns About the Upcoming Environmental Assessment

Concerns About the Upcoming Environmental Assessment
Posted on May 13, 2014 | Joe Wallach | Written on May 13, 2014
Letter type:

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

The director of the Environmental Approvals Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Environment is so contemptuous of the people who write to her with legitimate, well-founded complaints, she does not even bother to conceal that her replies are just boiler plate. That was illustrated in the last letter I wrote, April 30, 2014:

Agatha Garcia-Wright May 13, 2014
Environmental Approvals Branch
Ministry of the Environment
2 St. Clair Avenue West
Floor 12A
Toronto ON M4V 1L5

SUBJECT: Concerns About the Upcoming Environmental Assessment

Ms. Garcia-Wright:

Under separate cover is a report, the existence of which may be known to you. It is the type of report that MOE must demand of landfill proponents, although proponents must do much more than we are able to do because they have the money. Why not try something novel by reading and heeding the contents of that report?

Your complete disinterest in requiring thorough geological investigations at the site of, and in the region containing, a landfill is appalling. How can you feel satisfied with your performance as director of the aptly named Environmental Approvals Branch? To date whenever I, or others, have written to you or your sometime replacement, Ian Parrott, the reply, as illustrated in my last letter to you, April 30, 2014, is insultingly insincere. No matter what is written to you, your response is always the same. You do it so effortlessly, one might even believe the reply is on the hard drive and merely requires a change of address and date. Your uncaring behavior belies the alleged implication that MOE will take expressions of concern from the public seriously.

As is quite clear from the old British comedy series Yes Minister, bureaucrats control policy though the minister can overrule them. Therefore it would not surprise me if approval of the grossly inadequate ToR, prepared by Taggart-Miller Environmental Services (TMES), resulted from your advice. That, the abominable approval itself, and your unmitigated unwillingness to communicate meaningfully with people who really do understand the issues lead to the expectation that MOE’s treatment of the Environmental Assessment (EA) will be no better.

About The Author

I have trained as a geologist and worked for the federal nuclear regulatory agency, formerly named the Atomic Energy Control Board