The Hamilton Spectator
Flamborough’s Carmeuse Lime withdraws controversial application
Proposal to burn alternative fuels faced stiff community opposition
Carmeuse Lime is not proceeding with a controversial plan to burn alternative low-carbon fuels (ALCF) in the lime kilns at its Flamborough site.
Flamborough- Glanbrook MPP Donna Skelly announced the decision in a March 19 media release, indicating she had been meeting regularly with Carmeuse and listening to community concerns.
“On Friday, I again met with Carmeuse officials who confirmed that they would not be submitting the application for an alternative low-carbon fuels project,” she said in the release.
In a statement shared by Skelly, Carmeuse said it has decided not to proceed with the ALCF project at this time and is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions — and that it is now prioritizing other reduction opportunities.
“They recognized that the proposal they had put forward wasn’t perhaps the ultimate solution,” she said of Carmeuse. “So they agreed to withdraw their application and they’re not going to be moving forward with it.”
Carmeuse could not be immediately
reached for comment on the decision.
In a bid to reduce CO2 emissions, reduce fuel costs and allow the company to be competitive with European and U.S. lime producers, Carmeuse had proposed to replace the natural gas and petcoke it currently uses to run its lime kilns with ALCF — including biochar, nonrecyclable rubber and plastic, unsaleable sanitary products and tire fluff.
The proposal faced considerable opposition from Greensville-area residents, who were concerned about possible impacts
on health and air quality from the release of furans and dioxins from burning ALCF — or what the group called “garbage.”
The residents formed a group called Dundas and Greensville Environmental Concern, launched crowdfunding efforts, signage and petitions, and held a March 2 public meeting to raise awareness about the proposal that saw more than 300 attendees.
When reached by phone after the decision was announced, group chairperson Steve Smillie said residents are “absolutely delighted” by the news.
“We saw this as literally protecting our community from serious illnesses, our children who are the most vulnerable,” he said. “We see this as a massive win in making sure that our citizens, our children are safe.”
In an interview, Skelly said the decision is “great news” for residents, adding as more companies look for low-carbon alternatives, companies and residents will have to work together to find sources that are agreeable to both sides.
Fellow Dundas and Greensville Environmental Concern member Mark Osborne said they were taken aback by Carmeuse’s decision, adding they had anticipated a multi-year fight.
However, he said the group is “very pleased” and the community should be proud of its efforts.
“I’m very proud of the community and all the residents,” he said.
Osborne said moving forward the group wants to work on existing emission issues from the Carmeuse site.
“We’re hoping to meet with them at some point to discuss their existing operations and we look forward to it.”