Carp landfill critics recommend Alberta property value protection plan

(Press release from the Don’t Let Ottawa Go To Waste coalition.)

In a letter sent this week to Eli El Chantiry – Councilor for Ward 5 West Carleton March, the Mayor of Ottawa and the City Solicitor, the Don’t Let Ottawa Go To Waste (DLOGTW) campaign is asking the City to use an agreement between the Township of Thorhild, Alberta, a community of about 3,500 people north of Edmonton and Waste Management of Canada (WM) as a template for negotiating property value protection (PVP) and a new Host Community Agreement (HCA) related to WM’s proposed new landfill on Carp Rd.

The group is also asking the City of Ottawa to adopt a more transparent process for the negotiations than was the case in 2001, when the Host Community Agreement for the old Carp landfill was negotiated behind the scenes and voted on by City Council in camera.

Property owners in Thorhild, Alberta who live near a very large and new WM landfill serving the Edmonton area are eligible for pre-defined PVP as well as annual financial compensation for living near the landfill.  The details of the plan are included as part of the HCA between the Township of Thorhild, Alberta and WM. In Thorhild the Township and residents were able to negotiate a fixed annual impact benefit, a defined property value protection plan for properties within 1.5 miles (2.4 km.) of the landfill, as well as annual testing of water wells and financial compensation to the community.

Presently the City of Ottawa is or will be negotiating a HCA with WM for the new landfill on Carp Road. The HCA is supposed to include Property Value Protection, a condition imposed by the Minister of Environment when the Environmental Assessment (EA) was approved in August 2013. To date, there is no pre-determined plan for annual compensation or well testing in the PVP proposed by WM in the EA.

In addition, the PVP described in the EA only provides property value protection to homes defined by WM as eligible. However, what determines eligibility was not explained in the PVP and the EA does not identify any homes or properties as being eligible.

Distribution of homes in proximity to the new Carp Rd. landfill

Distance from landfill Approximate No. of Homes
500 m 7   (5 owned by WM)
1000m 34
1500m 120
2000m 200
2500m 500+ part of Timbermere
3000m 1000+ part of Timbermere and Jackson Trails

 

“In our opinion, the City of Ottawa and the Ontario government should look at what was negotiated with the community in Thorhild. We’d rather not have a landfill at all, but if we have to live with another giant dump in our back yard it’s only right that property owners be fairly protected and compensated,” says DLOGTW volunteer, Harold Moore. “It’s well documented that the value of property near a landfill is impacted. The degree of impact will vary depending on the size of the landfill, how well it is operated and how close you are to it.  There’s also a negative stigma associated with living near a landfill. These factors all affect property values.”

The group is also asking the City of Ottawa to negotiate a fairer host community fee, the fee per tonne of garbage dumped in the landfill that is paid by the landfill operator to the host City or Township as compensation for having the landfill. The 2001 agreement between the City of Ottawa and WM identifies a host community fee of $1 per tonne. Meanwhile, the Township of Warwick Ontario, home to WM’s Twin Creeks landfill, receives approximately $3.20 per tonne of garbage and Essex-Windsor Ontario receives $6.30 per tonne.

In August 2013, WM received approval for its EA to proceed with a new landfill on Carp Rd. In July 2014, the City of Ottawa conditionally approved WM’s request to rezone affected properties for the new landfill. In order to proceed further, WM must obtain a Site Plan approval from the City of Ottawa and Environmental Compliance Approvals from the MOE. These approvals are expected in the coming months. For more information on the DLOGTW, visit www.nodump.ca.


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