Ecol­ogy Ac­tion Cen­tre ex­presses dis­ap­proval


In­dus­trial ap­proval has been granted to La­farge Canada Inc., for its ce­ment plant in Brook­field to burn used tires as a low-car­bon fuel.

The in­dus­trial ap­proval, an­nounced Wed­nes­day by the Nova Sco­tia De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­ment, will al­low the com­pany to op­er­ate the project over a 12month pe­riod.

The com­pany will have to do airqual­ity mon­i­tor­ing at reg­u­lar in­ter­vals when the kiln is op­er­at­ing. Ground­wa­ter and sur­face wa­ter mon­i­tor­ing are also re­quired.

In­dus­trial ap­provals are nor­mally is­sued for a 10-year pe­riod.

The de­part­ment said in a news re­lease the shorter pe­riod al­lows the prov­ince to en­sure that terms and con­di­tions are be­ing met and can be mod­i­fied if needed to en­sure the en­vi­ron­ment and hu­man health are pro­tected.

For op­po­nents of the plan, how­ever, Wed­nes­day’s an­nounce­ment is a step in the wrong di­rec­tion to­ward the prov­ince’s en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion ef­forts.

“Burn­ing tires, rather than re­cy­cling them, will not re­duce over­all green­house gas emis­sions in Nova Sco­tia, will un­der­mine re­cy­cling, and will pose an ad­di­tional health hazard to lo­cal res­i­dents,” said Ecol­ogy Ac­tion Cen­tre (EAC) pol­icy di­rec­tor, Mark But­ler, in a news re­lease.

“The EAC, along with res­i­dents and sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties, have long chal­lenged the en­vi­ron­men­tal and eco­nomic merit of such a plan.”

But­ler also said the de­ci­sion means the Nova Sco­tia Govern­ment and Divert NS no longer have “moral author­ity” to con­tinue charg­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal fees on the pur­chase of new au­to­mo­bile tires.

And tak­ing tires away from the re­cy­cling in­dus­try and giv­ing them to La­farge to burn will re­sult in a net loss of jobs and eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity, he sug­gested.

“One of the most egre­gious facets of this project is that La­farge will be paid $1.05/per tire from an en­vi­ron­men­tal fee col­lected by Divert NS from Nova Sco­tians when they pur­chase new tires. It is EAC’S view that Divert NS, which de­scribes it­self as fos­ter­ing a cul­ture of re­cy­cling in Nova Sco­tia for over 20 years, does not have the moral author­ity to col­lect a fee which will be given to a com­pany to burn, not re­cy­cle, tires.”

The EAC also “re­grets” the in­volve­ment of Dal­housie Uni­ver­sity re­searchers who “lent un­de­served cred­i­bil­ity to the project,” he said.

“The EAC is of the view that once the tire burn­ing in­fra­struc­ture is in place at the La­farge plant it will be dif­fi­cult for govern­ment to re­verse the de­ci­sion to burn tires, re­gard­less of mon­i­tor­ing and test re­sults.”

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