Category Archives: Nature & Environment

LETTER: Fernbank and Flewellyn have always been wet

Re: Property values drained by wetland designation

I’m 60 years old. I grew up in Stittsville. When I was a young boy we didn’t have garbage pick-up in Stittsville. On weekends I would often go with my father in the family car on Fernbank Road west of Stittsville to a Goulbourn Township dump in the far west part of Lot 16, Concession 10, on the northerly side of Fernbank Road to get rid of our garbage. Continue reading


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QUARRY QUERY: Do industrial operations on Jinkinson affect water levels in the area?

EDITOR’S NOTE:  The network of streams and wetlands surrounding Stittsville have been changing over the past few years. Landowners say they’ve seen a dramatic rise in the amount of water on their land during a period that has coincided with Stittsville’s expansion.

In Part 1 of this series, we highlighted water issues along Flewellyn Road.  Homeowners there believe that quarries are one of several factors contributing to the water changes.

In Part 2, we look at concerns of the landowners who live right next to the quarries.  One of those landowners is Len Payne, who’s raised the ire of government and conservation officials for some of the changes he’s made to his property to try to drain his land.  We’ll examine those issues in a later story in this series.  Today’s story starts with a tour of his property between Jinkinson Road and the Trans Canada Trail. Continue reading


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Dead and damaged trees removed from Pioneer Plains Park in Jackson Trails

Over the past week city forestry crews have been removing some trees in Pioneer Plains Park in Jackson Trails.

Shad Qadri provided this update on Facebook earlier today: “They are only removing dead trees that pose any danger and wind damaged trees to make the park safe as well as the residents property’s along Bryce place. These are not stand alone trees but more in the forested areas. So no replanting is necessary. Should you have any questions please email me at shad.qadri@ottawa.ca”


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LETTER: Concern over continuing impact to groundwater safety at Carp landfill

Re: Carp landfill exceedances don’t pose a threat to drinking water, says MOE

Yes there has been historical off site groundwater contamination at the site. In fact it was first noted in 1986 when the Ministry of the Environment ordered the landfill operator of the day to supply residents along Carp Road with clean city water. Subsequent studies have shown that this historical contamination has moved primarily in a northeast direction to lands across Carp Road from the landfill. This is where the water quality guideline exceedances mentioned in the press release continue today.

It is true that the Ministry of the Environment has required Waste Management to put in place control systems to try and control the level of contamination leaving the site. And they continue to operate these systems even though the landfill closed in 2011; as they are required to under the terms of their Certificate of Environmental Compliance until such time as the level of contamination is reduce to acceptable levels. As well as the control systems, Waste Management has been required to purchase lands east of Carp Road that have elevated levels of leachate indicators. These lands comprise a Contaminate Attenuation Zone (CAZ) where land use is restricted until such time as the high levels of leachate parameters are reduced by natural attenuation to levels that are within the provincial guidelines that are designed to protect groundwater use on adjacent lands.

The Ministry of the Environment is charged with the conservation of the groundwater resources of the Province. In order to achieve this, guidelines on water quality have been developed to assure that discharge to neighbouring properties has no more than a negligible or trivial effect on the existing and potential reasonable use of adjacent property. As shown in the press release these guidelines (B-7) have been exceeded since 2001 when monitoring on the CAZ property began and continues today. On average these exceedances have been 60% over the guideline limits during the monitoring period.

The guideline limits are designed to be on the conservative side so they are less than the drinking water standards set out by the Province. Thus there is a safety margin when it comes to protecting the drinking water supply. This is understandable because if the guidelines were set at drinking water standards it would be too late for corrective action if they were exceeded. However in 1986 when the contamination problem was first detected there were families living along Carp Road using the groundwater as a source of water. Since that time the families have moved, the wells abandoned and houses have been moved or demolished. Surly this is a sign that the drinking water quality has been impacted.

The concern is that the landfill has impacted the groundwater to the extent that 125 acres of land had to be purchased by Waste Management to act as a Contaminate Attenuation Zone so that high levels of contaminates can be attenuated to acceptable levels over time. And that where families use to live using groundwater as the source of drinking water there are now empty lots. The control systems proposed and put in place by the landfill operator over the years seem to have limited effect as to this day there are exceedances of the guidelines and new control systems being proposed. How can a site that for years has impacted the groundwater resource and exceeded provincial guidelines, be considered for expansion until proven controls are in place?

Harold Moore, DLOGTW Campaign


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Anti-dump coalition says Waste Management is non-compliant with environmental law

(This post is a press release from the Don’t Let Ottawa Go to Waste coalition. You can read the MOE’s response here.)

Annual Environmental Monitoring Reports on groundwater, submitted to the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MOE) by Waste Management of Canada (WM), clearly show the site has exceeded Ontario environmental guidelines for the protection of groundwater. Presently, the site is still not in compliance with Ontario’s environmental regulations (see figure 1). Continue reading


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Community should be compensated if pipeline goes through, says Qadri

(ABOVE: Energy East pipeline route, looking south from Jinkinson Road. Via Google Maps.)

City councillor Shad Qadri says that Stittsville should receive some form of compensation if TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline project is approved.

“There should be some local benefits for the community, whether there’s an accident or whether something happens to the environment when they’re installing the pipeline itself,” says Qadri. Continue reading


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Property values drained by wetland designation

(ABOVE: Michael Erland (left) and Mike Westley, neighbours on Flewellyn Road.)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Stittsville is in the midst of change. What was once a small town community that was a gathering place for area farmers is now developing at breakneck speed. As residents adjust to this growth, so too must the natural environment of the area.

One of the notable changes is to the region’s network of streams and wetlands. Landowners with property just west of town have seen a rise in the amount of water on their land during a period that has coincided with Stittsville’s expansion. Continue reading


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New members wanted for the Carp Landfill Community Liaison Committee

(Public notice from Waste Management.)

As part of Waste Management’s commitment to communicating with its neighbours, the Company in 2008 established the Carp Road Landfill Community Liaison Committee (CLCLC) to provide members of the community the opportunity to question, comment and provide suggestions on Waste Management’s landfill facility and operations on Carp Road.

In 2011 the landfill closed and a transfer facility started operations. Currently Waste Management is in the process of acquiring approvals for a new landfill and associated facilities as part of the West Carleton Environmental Centre (WCEC). Public liaison for developments associated with the expansion of the WCEC will be addressed through a new committee identified as the Public Liaison Committee (PLC).

The mission of the CLCLC is to serve as the key (but not exclusive) forum to address in an unbiased way issues with and between the community and Waste Management on all aspects of current and past operations as well as future developments at the existing landfill Site. The CLCLC shall co-operate with the PLC on developments that are relative to the WCEC.

The CLCLC is formed of representatives from neighbouring communities, City Council, the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) and the Company. The committee usually meets bi-monthly (every second month). More information on the CLCLC can be found on our website at www.clclc.ca .

The CLCLC is currently recruiting new members to serve as community representatives. If you are interested in participating in the CLCLC, please submit a brief resume that includes a short summary of your interest in being on the committee by December 11th 2014.

Submissions can be emailed to info@clclc.ca or to Ross Wallace landfill Manager, 2301 Carp Rd, Carp ON K0A 1L0 or by fax at 613-831-8928.


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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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LETTER: Proposed development on Fernbank raises concerns about flooding

(ABOVE: Stittsville residents Ian McKim, Jillian McKim, Gerry Kroll and Keldine FitzGerald are concerned about a proposed 140-unit housing development on marshlands off Fernbank Road.  Photo by Barry Gray.)

Approximate location of the proposed development at 6279 Fernbank Road
Approximate location of the proposed development at 6279 Fernbank Road.

 

Editor’s note: Residents near a proposed development at 6279 Fernbank Road are hoping to engage with the community to keep people updated on an upcoming Ontario Municipal Board hearing expected in April.

As resident Jillian McKim  explains in her letter below, residents and the City of Ottawa are concerned about several aspects of the proposed development, including the effect it could have on stormwater drainage. Continue reading


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90% of city council candidates would fight the proposed Energy East pipeline

Editor’s note:  The following is a press release from Ecology Ottawa. Dave Lee and Shad Qadri did not respond to the survey, although in a recent Q&A they did address the issue.  Lee said the City’s role is to be an advocate for citizens to ensure environmental concerns are addressed.  Qadri said the City should work with other levels of government to ensure local residents are not negatively affected.

It’s also unclear what, if any, legal role the City of Ottawa has in the process.  Rob Maclachlan with the city’s Growth Management Department told StittsvilleCentral.ca that Trans Canada has not filed an application yet with the National Energy Board, and the City does not yet know what municipal approvals may be required. Continue reading


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Sacred Heart students to help care for 100-year-old forest

(All photos by Coreen Tyers.)

Students from Sacred Heart Catholic High School will play an active role in caring for the Kemp Woodland as part of a partnership with the Ottawa Stewardship Council and the City of Ottawa.

Kemp Woodland is a 8.9-hectare forest immediately west of the school along the Trans Canada Trail.

“The forest has cedar trees that are well over 100 years old, which is unusual in suburban setting,” says Janet Mason, chair of the Ottawa Stewardship Council (OSC). Continue reading


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Endangered snapping turtle back home after stint in Peterborough trauma hospital

Laula the turtle recently returned home to Poole Creek, the final chapter of a two-month rehabilitation for the endangered snapping turtle.

“It is extremely satisfying to see an animal return to the wild,” said Kerry Reimer, a Stittsville resident and volunteer with the Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. Continue reading


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