Environmental Groups Demand a Human Health Risk Assessment
OTTAWA – At the City of Ottawa Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee (ARAC) meeting which will take place on April 5, local community groups opposing the Taggart Miller landfill on Boundary Road plan to demand a human health risk assessment, proper monitoring, and proper mitigation measures. This is to answer the questions of nearby residents, and to determine the negative effects a large industrial, commercial and institutional waste landfill will have on their health.
This ARAC meeting will hear public and staff responses to the applications by Taggart Miller to amend the Ottawa Official Plan and Zoning By-law.
No human health impact study was required by the scoped MOECC Environmental Assessment (EA). Environmental experts for the opponents to the landfill specifically noted this failure when they stated, "The EA lacks a Human Health Risk Assessment which would have assessed the effects of the changes to air quality, water quality and several social factors on human health indicators."
The City of Ottawa Official Plan guidelines state, "Good air quality is critical to maintaining environmental and human health," and, "Protecting, improving and restoring the quality and quantity of groundwater is an environmental and public health issue."
Several health studies (done in Montreal, Great Britain and Italy) have shown that airborne volatile organic compounds from landfills impact human respiratory health, especially in children, and there is a high incidence of cancer among persons living at a distance up to at least five km from the site; and the impact extends well beyond the boundaries of the landfill site as the studies found negative effects out to the five km study limit. It can be assumed that negative human health impacts extend beyond this limit, particularly in the prevailing wind directions.
At a Taggart Miller meeting in Carlsbad Springs last December Taggart Miller expressed their wish to be a "good neighbour." The City of Ottawa has stated, as above, that air and water pollution are threats to public health.
At the ARAC meeting residents will ask for:
- A comprehensive human health risk assessment conducted, as part of the City of Ottawa Official Plan Amendment and Zoning Approval, like that being done by Walker Environmental Group for their proposed landfill at Ingersoll in Oxford County, Ontario.
- A continuing and comprehensive monitoring plan to detect any known threats to human health both, during the operations phase and the post-closure phase of the landfill to ensure any mitigation measures are initiated in a timely manner; and
- Contingency plans in place to reasonably address the risks identified in the human health impact study.
These are reasonable requests which affect the safety of those living near the facility both now and in the future.
For more information, contact: Harry Baker, 613-445-3233, or firstname.lastname@example.org