Don’t allow Pontiac to become a dumping ground!

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In two recent issues, there were articles about what is happening at the Pontiac Sorting Centre.

In two recent issues, there were articles about what is happening at the Pontiac Sorting Centre. In the February 13 issue it was about fines that have recently been levied against the business, by the Quebec Ministry of the Environment, for non-compliance with their “certificate of authorization”; not sorting and separating materials, not installing concrete slabs for the various materials, and not waterproofing the materials properly. These fines stem from inspections done as long ago as 2013 and again in 2015. Last fall there were more inspections done and the amount of improperly stored and sorted materials had grown to over 650 tons, standing over 15 feet high, with a total of 10 notices of non-conformity and fines recently levied of over $40,000!
In the February 27 issue we learn that the Director of Operations for the Sorting Centre has requested that the same Ministry allow them to create an “engineered landfill” to dispose of the dangerous materials they seem unable to properly deal with (asbestos in particular). 
Why would anyone believe that this business, which seems unable to handle its
current operations properly, should be given permission to bury dangerous materials?
How can they be trusted? The Director’s quote of creating “an entirely different ballgame” is particularly worrisome….burying garbage is not the way of the future. It’s a very old ballgame. A promise of 25 jobs isn’t worth the damage that could be done with potential leaks into nearby watersheds, which are a
cornerstone of Pontiac’s touristic potential. And all for a project that will last only 15 – 20 years! That is a blink of the eye compared to the long-lasting damage that could result. Who will be stuck managing this toxic material after the 20 years? Will the owners of the Sorting Centre just disappear as Green Investments managed to do after removing anything of value from the old Smurfit Stone property?
With great concern and disappointment, I also learned that the Municipality of Litchfield and the MRC’s Council of Mayors have bought into this proposed scheme by giving it their approval. Apparently 25 jobs are worth more than the long term health of the Pontiac! We need to stand up and say, “Pontiac will not become a dumping ground!”  They’ve tried it before with the old Hilton Mine site and
more recently Danford Lake—thankfully, both were rejected. This must also be rejected!
Raise your voice and be heard.

Lynne Lavery
SHAWVILLE