Environmental Services Committee

Comité des services de l’environnement


Minutes 37 / Procès-verbal 37


Tuesday 24 June 2003, 9:30 a.m.

Le mardi 24 juin 2003, 9 h 30


Champlain Room, 110 Laurier Avenue West

Salle Champlain, 110, avenue Laurier Ouest



Present / Présents:     Councillors / Conseillers P. Hume (Chair / Président), P. McNeely (Vice-Chair / Vice-président), G. Brooks, D. Deans, G. Hunter, H. Kreling, W. Stewart, D. Thompson


Absent / Absent :       Councillor / Conseiller C. Doucet (Regrets / excuses)



Declarations of Interest



No declarations of interest were filed.




Confirmation of Minutes



Minutes 36 - Tuesday, 10 June 2003 were confirmed.


REPORTS ET RENVOIS                          











            Councillor Hunter proposed to move the following motion, on behalf of Councillor Jan Harder: “Be it resolved that City staff be directed to reopen the environmental assessment process and re-evaluate the leachate pipeline routing options to the east of Trail Road and a suitable downstream connection to the wastewater collection system”.


            Chair Hume informed members of the public wishing to speak on this issue that they could speak to the motion proposed by Councillor Hunter as well as the original report recommendations.


Keith Preston, a resident of the Stonebridge community, speaking on behalf of his wife as well, was opposed to the routing of the leachate pipeline through the community.  He and his wife feel that this could become a possible environmental hazard, with potential risks to their health, home and quality of life, as well as to the local wildlife habitat.  A copy of Mr. Preston’s presentation is held on file with the City Clerk.


Councillor Stewart inquired of staff as to where the leachate would flow once it reaches the end of the dedicated pipeline.  Richard Hewitt, Director, Infrastructure Services informed that it would be discharged into a collector sewer for eventual treatment at the R.O. Pickard Environment Centre (ROPEC).  In response to the Councillor’s question, Mr. Hewitt informed that the issues relevant to the piping of this type of waste, such as the need for venting, have been considered and will continue to be so.  Pat McNally, Director, Utility Services added that there are a number of elements in the leachate that are at or near the Sewer Use By-Law limits, and that there is little risk involved of exposure to the substance if it is contained in an engineered structure such as a pipeline.  He also informed that the pipeline would deal with both the leachate from the Trail Road site as well as the contaminated groundwater from the old Nepean site.  The preliminary numbers on the mixing of that would be about 6:1 with the contaminated groundwater and, as a result, the mixture would be a much more dilute solution going into the pipe and would meet the Sewer Use By-Law requirements.


Gary Hollink, Vice President, Stonebridge Community Association stated the group’s opposition to the routing of a pipeline through or adjacent to their community.  They feel that the EA process should be re-opened to find the best solution, and that the review should not be restricted to the east only, as Councillor Hunter’s proposed motion states.  A copy of Mr. Hollink’s presentation is held on file with the City Clerk.  Chair Hume stated that Councillor Hunter might be prepared to amend his motion based on the feedback from the delegations and Committee members, before putting it to vote.  Councillor Stewart questioned Legal staff as to the ramifications of reopening an EA with respect to placing restrictions on certain elements of the review process.  Timothy Marc, Manager, Planning and Development Law responded that all items must be considered but there is some flexibility in scoping the work that is to be done.  He suggested that the Committee should consider the reason that the community is requesting the reopening of the EA before they decide on the scope of the work that will be considered. 


Brian Finch, President, Friends of the Jock River was opposed to the pipeline option, citing concerns about possible leaks and contamination from such a structure.  He stated the group’s concerns for the ecosystem within the watershed, as well as for the individuals that reside in the area, and their opinion that it would be a very bad idea to run the leachate into the sewage treatment plant there.  He felt strongly that the EA process should be re-opened and that on-site treatment options should be considered.  Councillor Stewart wondered why the routing of the leachate to a secondary treatment site is being considered, with all the potential risks associated with that, rather than building a tertiary treatment plant on-site.  Chair Hume thought that the various treatment options should not be discussed and debated at this meeting, as it was not relevant to do so unless the committee approves the re-opening of the EA process.  Councillor Stewart responded that this was not her intention, but was inquiring whether it is actually possible to build a tertiary treatment facility on-site, so that the Committee would know whether there is reason to be re-opening the issue.  Mr. Hewitt informed that there are technologies presently available to provide for on-site treatment, but pointed out that it is important for the Committee to understand that staff followed the normal process of review and assessment, which, in this case, led to the pipeline approach as the preferred alternative.  He pointed out that the on-site treatment options were considered and that at least some of the options do still require a pipeline for handling some of the waste material.  Staff has been moving towards the implementation of the pipeline alternative and have not gone back to look at all other alternatives because there is already an approved EA, a budget and Council approval of the pipeline approach.  When questioned by Councillor Stewart as to whether any pipeline has been constructed as of yet, Mr. Hewitt informed that it has not because it is still under design at this point.  Councillor Hunter wondered if there was anything in the EA that ruled out on-site treatment as a viable option and if reopening the EA process would lead back to the conclusion that the pipeline approach is the best alternative.  Mr. Hewitt responded that all options were weighed and the pipeline was determined to be the preferred alternative.  When questioned specifically by the Councillor if there had been any proof in the EA that it would be impossible to discharge the effluent from the on-site treatment of the contaminated groundwater and the leachate to the Jock River, Mr. Hewitt replied that at the time of the report there were concerns expressed and the wording was indicative that there should be no assumption that the Ministry would be supportive of the City discharging any effluent from this process to the Jock River.  The Councillor referred to research that he had obtained regarding many leachate treatment companies around the world, and their various claims about the positive by-product(s) that they produce at the end of the treatment cycle and questioned whether these had been recently analysed by staff.  Chair Hume reiterated that the Committee would have to vote to reopen the EA process in order for this type of consideration to take place.  Councillor Stewart questioned the delegation whether or not there is concern from the grassroots in the Jock River community about a treated leachate discharge policy where bodies such as that of the Jock River are concerned.  Mr. Finch stated that he is aware of technology that is currently available that can take a substance of tertiary quality and further treat it using reverse osmosis technology so that it eliminates the heavy metals in the waste and produces a substance that is almost of drinking water quality and that he did not believe that the friends of the Jock River group held major concerns regarding levels of leachate discharge from a plant.


Councillor Harder pointed out that Councillor Hunter’s proposed motion would allow for all options to be looked at and that debate should only occur if and when that motion is approved.


Peter Vice, speaking also on behalf of Bruce MacNabb, Monarch Construction Ltd., stated that the Developer would support the residents of the Stonebridge Community and the motion to re-open the EA process. 


Chair Hume, at the request of the Committee members, then read Councillor Hunter’s proposed motion, as amended, as follows: “Be it resolved that City staff be directed to re-open the environmental assessment process”.


Councillor Deans requested a staff comment on the motion, to which Mr. Marc responded that the original EA process was a lengthy one, as could probably be expected if the process is re-opened, and pointed out that this could cause some difficulty in finding a solution by 31 December 2004, as Committee has been ordered to do by the Ministry.


Councillor Hunter asked Mr. Marc to comment on the possibility of re-visiting the work that was done in 1998, which led to the decision to use the current Golflinks route, and re-examining the information regarding the on-site treatment options there, rather than re-opening the whole EA process by starting at the very beginning again.  Mr. Marc responded that Committee and Council have the ability to make that decision should they determine that such an examination is warranted.


In response to Councillor Deans’ comment, Mr. Hewitt responded that if the full EA process were to be re-opened, it would take a minimum of 6-8 months and probably extend to 18 months, which is the deadline at this point.  When asked what the staff position is on the motion that Councillor Hunter had proposed, Mr. Hewitt replied that staff had come to this Committee at this point for direction and are convinced that the solution already approved by Committee and Council and funded for is still a viable and cost-effective one, while recognizing that there is new information to consider and acknowledging that there may be other viable options.  As such, staff really has no recommendation at this point.


Councillor Harder thanked Committee members who have been involved with this issue as far back as at the Regional Council level and pointed out that what has changed since then, and needs to be considered, is that there is now a community in that area.  She went on to point out that, with respect to the deadline that the Committee is currently ordered to meet, it is possible to apply to the MOE to have that deadline extended, as long as work is in progress.  Mr. Hewitt confirmed that it is possible to apply for an extension of the deadline, but cautioned that there is no guarantee that the Ministry would comply.  Councillor Harder asked that Committee support the motion posed by Councillor Hunter because it is the only way to avoid having the pipeline routed through Golflinks Drive, which the majority of the community would like to avoid.


In the interest of time, Chair Hume then called out the names of individuals who had registered to speak on this issue to give them each the opportunity to simply stand and voice their support for one of the options, or to reserve the right to come before the Committee and speak further.  The following individuals expressed their support, for the record, of Councillor Hunter’s motion: Larry Moulds, Kimberley Leach, Wendy Duross, Afzal Dean and Mary Elin Moore.  The Committee then received further delegation from those members who had reserved the right to speak.


Michael Phelan, President, Stonebridge Community Association (SCA) was in support of Councillor Hunter’s motion but went on to express some thoughts and concerns of the SCA.  They believe that the EA process of July 2000 was flawed because they feel there was a lack of sufficient and clear notification given to the residents of the surrounding areas, and they feel there has been a significant change to the population of the community since the original approval that necessitates the re-opening of the EA process.  They are confused as to why a different and more costly option than that recommended at the 11 June 2000 meeting of the City’s Environmental Planning Committee was chosen.  Mr. Phelan stated the residents’ concerns regarding the health, safety, social, cultural and economic environment of Stonebridge Community, and informed that he is in receipt of a petition against the pipeline routing, which has been signed by over 80% of the community.  He pointed out that the community is aware of the costs involved and the burden it will place on the City, but they feel they are justified in requesting the re-opening of the EA.


Shawn Ryan, a resident of the Stonebridge Community, stated that he and his family would not have chosen to purchase their home in that area if they had known about the leachate situation, and he is now concerned for their health and safety.  He believes that Regional Council made their decisions in 2000 based on the fact that there were no residents in the area to consider, and as such, he feels that the EA should be re-opened so that all options can be considered for the community.  He concurred with Councillor Hunter’s proposed motion.


Michael Herbert, representing Uniform Urban Developments and Cardel Custom Homes was in support of Councillor Hunter’s motion, and pointed out the negative impact on developers in the neighbourhood that has occurred because of the already perceived intent to route a pipeline down Golflinks Drive, in that people who had signed contracts to purchase homes are now backing out and new buyers are very difficult to attract.  He suggested that the Committee could, in re-opening the EA, direct that certain areas not be considered as possible routes, specifically Golflinks Drive.


Councillor Harder requested Mr. Marc’s comments on whether Committee and Council have the ability to pose such restrictions in an EA process.  Mr. Marc informed that Committee and Council does have that ability, but cautioned that it could then be said that the process is unfair if all options are not considered.  When questioned by Councillor Stewart as to whether he had made any sort of presentation to the committee when Golflinks Drive was chosen as a route for the pipeline, Mr. Herbert informed that they had not because they were not aware of the situation at that time.  He felt that there was not adequate information being made available by the City at that time about their plans for a leachate pipeline, and suggested that he had been informed only that a regular sewer system was to be put in place.  Mr. Hewitt felt that the delegation was incorrect in his information, as the Subdivision Agreement at that time referred to plans for a leachate pipeline going through a nearby easement.  He pointed out that there were references to both the Jock River Collector construction and to the leachate pipeline but only in an easement context, and only in areas where the routing was expected to deviate from standard rights-of-way.  It is staff’s opinion that it is appropriate for a sewer to go down a right-of-way and that this is no different from the sanitary and storm sewers and gas pipes that are already going down many rights-of-way in this City.  In response to further questions by the Councillor, Mr. Hewitt informed that the intent at this point is to have a separate dedicated pipeline that would carry contaminated groundwater and leachate to the pumping station in the short-term, and then eventually into the Jock River Collector.


Sheila Pepper was in support of Councillor Hunter’s motion, as long as all options are considered so that the safest option for all communities can be determined.


John Palmer, a resident of the Jockvale area, was in support of Councillor Hunter’s motion, pointing out that things have changed since Regional Council made its decision on the issue and that the new City of Ottawa now has a chance to revisit and ensure that the best option for the community is chosen.


All the delegations having been received, Committee then discussed the motion as posed by Councillor Hunter.


Councillor Stewart thanked the community for coming out and giving committee direction on this matter.  She felt that it is appropriate to re-open the EA and try to find a more suitable option for the community that now exists in Stonebridge, and she felt that the Ministry would be willing to extend the deadline.


Councillor Harder thanked the committee and the all of the communities who have been involved with this issue for their patience and indulgence, and hoped that an option preferable to all will be found.


Councillor Hunter amended his motion to read “Be it resolved that City staff be directed to re-open the environmental assessment process for the Trail Road Leachate Management Plan and the treatment of contaminated groundwater from the former Nepean Landfill site”, and asked committee members to consider having this issue rise to Council the following day (June 25) in the interest of time.  Rosemarie Leclair, General Manager, Transportation, Utilities and Public Works informed that, should Councillor Hunter’s motion be approved at this meeting, the Department would like to use the month between now and the time this issue is normally slated to rise to Council (July 23) to get some of those answers about deadlines from the Ministry, so that Council would have the full information in front of it when dealing with this issue. 


Chair Hume addressed the members of the Stonebridge Community Association, expressing his belief that they have been very well served by their former President and their Executive because of their approach and diligence in bringing this matter forward and working to find a resolution, as well as by the Ward Councillor.


Moved by Councillor Hunter.


Be it resolved that City staff be directed to re-open the environmental assessment process for the Trail Road Leachate Management Plan and the treatment of contaminated groundwater from the former Nepean Landfill Site.




Moved by Councillor Stewart.


That this item rises to Council tomorrow (25 June 2003).



YEAS: (2)        Councillors W. Stewart, D. Thompson

NAYS: (6)       Councillors H. Kreling, G. Hunter, D. Deans, P. McNeely, G. Brooks,
P. Hume



The Committee then approved the following recommendation, as amended:


That the Environmental Services Committee and Council give staff direction to re-open the Environmental Assessment process for the Trail Road Leachate Management Plan and the treatment of contaminated groundwater from the former Nepean Landfill Site.


                                                                                                CARRIED as amended










The Committee received memorandum dated 9 June 2003 from Kent Kirkpatrick, General Manager regarding the appointment of Nick Tilgner to the Ottawa Forests Advisory Committee, replacing Susan Desjardins, who resigned from the Advisory Committee on 9 June 2003.







The Committee adjourned the meeting at 10:55 a.m.






Original signed by                                                     Original signed by

Anne-Marie Leung                                                    Peter Hume



Committee Coordinator                                             Chair