A proposed Energy-from-Waste facility received Environmental Assessment Act environmental assessment ("EA") approval earlier this month. This EA approval marks the first step in a length environmental review process that will see the project undergo additional EAs under both the Environmental Protection Act and the Ontario Water Resources Act, as well as an Environmental Bill of Rights public registry posting.

The EFW facility proposes to annually process up to 140,000 tonnes of "residual' municipal solid waste, that is, waste that cannot otherwise be reused or recycled. The project has an anticipated lifespan of 35 years and has been identified as not only an opportunity to generate electricity, but to provide a local solution for municipal waste that would otherwise go to landfills.

In an effort to minimize the environmental impact of this thermal treatment waste management facility, the province has already imposed several conditions on the site through this initial EA process. As outlined by the Ministry of Environment, the conditions include:

  • Stringent air emission requirements that are among the toughest in the world
  • Emissions monitoring and reporting
  • Daily inspections of the site
  • A public advisory committee so that the community continues to be involved in the project.

If built, the facility will be located south of Highway 401 on the west side of Osborne Road and north of the CN Rail corridor in the Municipality of Clarington. The site is approximately 12.1 hectares in area and owned by the Regional Municipality of Durham. You can learn more about the proposal here.