Voice Your Concern regarding the Ontario Ministry of Environment’s Proposal to Exempt Transportation of Hazardous Waste from Licensing Requirements
From our friends at CELA & Ecojustice:
The Ontario Ministry of Environment is proposing to exempt waste haulers transporting hazardous waste from the requirement to obtain a license before commencing their operation. This exemption will also apply to transboundary waste haulers.
The Ministry’s proposal would instead subject waste haulers to a regulation which will set out the requirements for transporting hazardous waste. This means that there will be no up-front detailed review by Ministry staff to determine whether waste haulers are properly equipped and qualified to handle the transportation of hazardous waste before they are allowed to operate in Ontario.
For more information please contact:
Ramani Nadarajah, Counsel, Canadian Environmental Law Association, (416) 960-2284 ext. firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Elaine McDonald, Senior Scientist, Ecojustice, (416) email@example.com
Please send your letter to:
The Honourable Jim Bradley
Minister of the Environment
77 Wellesley Street West
11th Floor, Ferguson Block
Sierra Club Ontario sent this letter recently. Feel free to make your own letter using language like this:
Dear Minister Bradley,
Sierra Club is writing to you to express our opposition to the Ministry of Environment’s proposal to exempt waste haulers transporting hazardous waste from the requirement to obtain a license in the form of an Environmental Compliance Approval. If approved, this means that waste haulers will no longer have their operations subject to a rigorous up-front review by MOE staff before beginning operations in Ontario.
The point need not be made that hazardous waste, by definition, poses substantial risk to the environment and human health and safety. Many of the substances and materials constituting the hazardous waste stream are classified as “toxic” under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and some are listed as human carcinogens by the International Cancer Research Institute.
Additionally, the handling of hazardous waste in Ontario has been the subject of a significant number of prosecutions, involving serious violations resulting in substantial harm to the environment and human health and safety.
Sierra Club believes that MOE’s proposal will place Ontario’s environment and human health and safety at significantly elevated risk. As well, the Ministry’s proposal is fundamentally at odds with the Basel Convention, an international treaty addressing problems with the transboundary movement of hazardous waste. The Convention imposes obligations on parties to ensure that wastes are managed and disposed in an environmentally sound manner. Currently 179 States, including Canada, are party to the Basel Convention.
Sierra Club strongly urges MOE not to proceed with this proposal. We, therefore, request that the transportation of hazardous waste continue to be subject to strict controls and oversight by the Ontario Government.
Dan McDermott, Chapter Director
Sierra Club Ontario