Brock Township Landfill Updates

Purpose

The following is intended to provide highlights of the Provincial Officer’s remediation order issued to the Region on October 13, 2006 in relation to the Brock Township Landfill site, and the Region’s response.

Background

The Brock Township Landfill was established as a private landfill in a former sand and gravel pit in the 1950’s. The Township of Brock bought the landfill in 1966. Upon formation of the Regional Municipality of Durham in 1974, the Region assumed responsibility of the property and operations and has been operating the site under Provisional Certificate of Approval A390602 issued by the Ministry of the Environment (MOE).

The landfill has been operated since its inception as a natural attenuation landfill with no engineered controls. The Region voluntarily conducts an annual groundwater and surface water monitoring and reporting program and submits annual monitoring reports to the Ministry of the Environment (MOE), the Region’s Health Department, and the Township of Brock’s Municipal Office.

In early 2006, the Region was approached by residents living in the vicinity of the landfill regarding their concerns about their well water quality. At their request, the Region retained an independent consultant to work with the MOE and the Region’s Health Department to conduct a detailed domestic well-analysis program. Two rounds of testing were undertaken during summer 2006 and spring 2007. Results of the testing do not indicate any landfill impacts on the quality of well water (Report 2006-WR-19 (PDF))

The MOE issued a Provincial Officer's Order (order) on October 13, 2006 (PDF) requiring the Region to address on- and off-site impacts relating to the operation of the Brock Township Landfill and to submit a Remedial Action Plan (RAP) and Site Operations Report (SOR).

The Region retained Conestoga-Rovers & Associates to conduct all necessary works and investigations relating to the order (Report 2007-WR-1 (PDF)).

On January 31, 2007 the Region submitted to the MOE the Remedial Action Plan (PDF - 8MB) to address the issues that were outlined in the order. On March 30, 2007 the Region submitted the Site Operations Report (PDF) to address the second requirement of the order. In addition, the Region retained an independent consultant, Malroz Engineering Inc., to conduct a cursory peer review of the suitability and integrity of the design plan, as expressed within the two documents. The peer reviewer was in concurrence with the proposed remedial plan, and the proposed methodology in implementing the plan.

The Region has been working with the MOE to ensure compliance of the SOR and RAP with the requirements of the order. The Region met with representatives of the MOE on March 15, 2007 to discuss and review the terms of the RAP submitted on January 31, 2007.

On August 14, 2007, the Region met with representatives from the MOE’s local District Office to review the two documents to clarify the intent of the RAP and SOR and ensure that the steps proposed to be taken satisfy the intent and terms of the order. The MOE has provided its feedback.

On August 28, 2007, the Region submitted a more detailed Schedule (PDF) and is prepared to proceed with implementing the elements outlined within the RAP and SOR.

The elements of the RAP and SOR are intended to satisfy the terms of the order and continued operation of the site in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Our Approach

The Region of Durham is committed to operating the site in an environmentally sound manner and continues to work with the MOE to achieve the objectives of the order, but also to move forward with an environmentally sound and efficient method of implementing the necessary tasks to achieve the requirements of the order. To do so, the Region retained the expertise of environmental consultants Conestoga Rovers & Associates to conduct an assessment of the site and develop a remedial and operations plan, which meets the requirements of the order.

Our primary goal is to implement the remedial action plan in a way  that immediately addresses the generation of leachate and allows for the continued operation of the site in the most environmentally sound, efficient and cost-effective way. The Region welcomes dialogue with the public and will be establishing a Public Liaison Committee (PLC) to assist in the sharing of information, as we continue to work towards meeting the objectives of the order. Terms of Reference for the PLC is currently underway and will be submitted to Works Committee and Regional Council for their approval in the near future.

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The Solution

After reviewing the site characteristics, Conestoga-Rovers & Associates concluded that surface water infiltration is the most significant contributing factor in the production of leachate. Based on this assessment, Conestoga-Rovers & Associates provided a comprehensive Remedial Action Plan (PDF - 8MB), which proposes five (5) elements that jointly work to reduce the generation of leachate and other impacts to meet the terms of the order. This requires aggressively moving forward with the plan in a progressive and sequential manner to ensure that the control measures put in place will properly function to address the potential for off-site groundwater and surface water impacts and on-site leachate occurrences.

The Site Operations Report (PDF) describes the current conditions of the site, including landfill capacity and existing waste volumes. It also outlines the sequencing of the site operations for the implementation of the RAP, as well as the required changes to the current annual monitoring program.

Action

The Remedial Action Plan seeks to reduce the production of leachate and deal with leachate impacts by:

In order to responsibly implement the Plan in a timely manner, 126,000 tonnes of cover material and municipal waste from within the Region of Durham will be imported to utilize a portion of the approved capacity of the site. This will allow the appropriate shaping of the site necessary to deal with the production of leachate in an effective and environmentally responsible manner.

The Region’s commitment to proceed with implementing the RAP is reflected in the 2007 and long-term capital budget for the site.

Feedback and questions can be sent to: bmurray@townshipofbrock.ca