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Environment (Ont) - Landfills (EPA)

. Town of Petrolia v. Municipal Property Assessment Corporation

In Town of Petrolia v. Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (Div Ct, 2022) the Divisional Court reviews briefly the environmental regulation of landfills in Ontario:
The environmental regulation of landfill sites in Ontario

[11] Landfill sites in Ontario are regulated under the Environmental Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E.19 (the “EPA”) and its regulations. Operating landfill sites require an Environmental Compliance Approval (“ECA”) from what is now the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (“MECP”), as s. 27(1) of the EPA provides that no waste disposal site can be operated except under, and in accordance with, an ECA.

[12] Pursuant to regulations under the EPA, certain landfill sites, including WMC’s property, must operate in accordance with environmental control mechanisms. There is no general requirement for landfill sites in Ontario to use landfill gas to generate electricity. However, Regulation 347 under the EPA requires them to contain “facilities for the collection, and for the burning or use, of landfill gas generated by the site during the operation and following site closure” (O. Reg. 347, General – Waste Management, s. 11.1(1)(a)). Pursuant to the regulations, landfill gas can be burned in a flare stack, which converts the gas to carbon dioxide, or used as a fuel for engines/turbines that generate electricity.

[13] A 2008 amendment to Regulation 347 expressly required owners and operators of landfill sites to report on the design and possible improvements to landfill gas collection facilities in order to increase the amount of landfill gas generated by the site that could be collected, and then burned or used (s. 11.1(1)(a) and (b)). WMC proposed a design to improve its gas collection system in June 2009, which at that time consisted of the flare building and flare stack. The new design and the later construction of the Facility were approved by the Ministry and described in the amended ECAs of 2011 and 2014 as a “landfill gas collection and utilization system” and “utilization facility.” Pursuant to s. 11.3 of Regulation 347, WMC is required to ensure the Facility is in operation during the site’s operation and after its closure.


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Last modified: 04-01-23
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