MLA Rankin Introduces Act to Keep Otter Lake Landfill Size As Originally Approved

 *** UPDATE – Friday May 13, 2016 ***

The Otter Lake Landfill Act was passed by the Legislature today. As soon as it receives Royal Ascent it will be published and we will link to it here.

The Community Monitoring Committee thanks MLA Rankin for introducing the legislation and for all of the members of the legislature for their support.

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Aerial MIRROR 2014 OTTER LAKE (10)On Wednesday May 4, 2016, Timberlea-Prospect MLA Iain Rankin introduced for 1st Reading Bill 176, titled An Act to Maintain the Current Footprint and Certain Requirements of the Otter Lake Landfill.

The legislation will constrain the footprint of the landfill to the original approved dimensions. That is, 9 cells built to a maximum height of 113 m above sea level. HRM had recently sought approval to increase the height of the landfill an additional 15 metres, and had referenced the possibility of building as many as 18 cells.

Below is a letter MLA Rankin sent to Ken Meech, Executive Director of the Community Monitoring Committee, informing him of the proposed legislation, and explaining his reasoning for it.

Dear Ken (ED of CMC),

I first want to commend CMC for the ongoing work representing the community,
namely, in ensuring operations at the Otter Lake landfill are monitored, and
appropriate environmental protections are adhered to. The continued
existence of CMC, as part of the Industrial Approval, is critical to the
confidence of the residents in the affected host communities.

Upon being notified of the decision from the Department of Environment to
rule HRM’s recent application for vertical expansion as incomplete, I
explored other avenues to provide unquestionable certainty of the agreed
upon footprint at the landfill. It became clear to me that new legislation
was required to limit both the number and size of solid waste residuals
cells.

While CMC has communicated to the community that HRM does not intend to
pursue vertical extension, or build new cells beyond the 9 cells, it is my
observation that past statements cannot always be relied upon. I have
attached the Bill I introduced today and ask for your support, as the Bill
moves through the legislative process.

Bill 176 will enshrine in legislation the number of cells and the height of
each newly approved cell. I have continued confidence that the CMC will
continue to work with the operator and the municipality to monitor
environmental protection at the Otter Lake landfill. Current or enhanced
protection is paramount for the confidence of the residents in the community
and I ask you to keep me informed of any further developments on this file.

I welcome your comments, concerns and/or questions.

Iain Rankin
Nova Scotia Liberal Party Caucus Chair
MLA – Timberlea – Prospect

Copy:
Chair of CMC Jack Mitchell
Vice Chair of CMC Scott Guthrie
Councillor Adams, District 11
Councillor Rankin, District 12
Councillor Whitman, District 13

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