LAFARGE GIVEN APPROVAL TO BURN TIRES
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.”