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News Release: Hazardous Waste Imports To Ontario
From: CIELAP [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, March 18, 1999 2:22 PM
To: Donna Chiarelli (E-mail)
Subject: news release
While export levels have dipped
Hazardous waste imports to Ontario
more than quadruple in four-year period
March 18, 1999
The tonnage of hazardous wastes being imported into Ontario more than
quadrupled between 1993 and 1997, the Canadian Institute for Environmental
Law and Policy (CIELAP) reported today. The report was prepared by CIELAP
as part of the Environmental Agenda for Ontario Project.
Hazardous waste imports rose 336% from 56,439 tonnes in 1993 to 246,000
tonnes in 1997, according to the report entitled "Hazardous Waste
Management in Ontario." During this same period of time, exports of
hazardous wastes from Ontario to other jurisdictions declined from 156,945
tonnes to 111,000 tonnes. The 1997 statistics are the latest available from
"Until the United States shut down sub-standard landfills and stopped
allowing untreated hazardous waste to be disposed of on land, Ontario was a
net exporter of hazardous waste. Once the Americans put a stop to these
practices, Ontario became the leading destination for hazardous waste from
the United States," said Mark Winfield, Director of Research at CIELAP and
author of the report. Ontario has no regulation prohibiting the land
disposal of untreated hazardous wastes.
"These statistics suggest that Ontario's lax environmental standards are
attracting hazardous wastes from around the continent. Ontario has become a
sink for North America's hazardous waste." Dr. Winfield said.
In addition to American imports, Ontario-generated hazardous waste is also
rising dramatically. From 1994 to 1997, the off-site disposal of hazardous
waste in Ontario increased by 47% from 1,447,448 tonnes to 2,125,000
tonnes, most of it generated in Ontario, the CIELAP study reported.
The growth in hazardous waste disposal in Ontario exceeds the growth of the
economy in the province by a margin of more than three to one.
"The dramatic increases in hazardous waste imports and off-site disposal
are warning signs that these wastes are not being soundly regulated in
Ontario. This makes it clear that the regulation of hazardous wastes in
Ontario needs a total overhaul," said Dr. Winfield.
The report recommends, among other things, that the Ontario government:
ban the disposal on land of liquid organic wastes, and restrict the
disposal of other hazardous wastes;
levy a per-tonne charge on the generators of hazardous wastes to
a safer system of hazardous waste regulation in Ontario, including
emergency and spills response capabilities, and a clean-up fund described
establish a fund to clean up contaminated sites which have been
by the party which caused the damage;
phase out the use of hazardous and liquid industrial wastes as dust
suppressants on unpaved roads;
require all proposals to build hazardous waste disposal facilities undergo
an environmental assessment with a public hearing before the Environmental
require each hazardous waste generator to write a plan on how it
reduce its use of toxic chemicals;
require hazardous waste generators to report quantities and fates of
hazardous substances they handle, and make this information available to
the public, and
strengthen controls on hazardous and liquid industrial waste
Hazardous wastes include industrial sludges containing cyanide, toxic heavy
metals and asbestos; corrosive liquids; and used or leftover solvents,
pesticides, fuels, paint, oil and batteries.
"The shortcomings of hazardous waste regulation in Ontario point to the
need for an environmental agenda for Ontario," said Anne Mitchell,
Executive Director of CIELAP. CIELAP and the Ontario Environment Network
are preparing such an agenda, which is scheduled for release next month.
For further information:
Mark Winfield or Anne Mitchell (416) 923 3529
Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy
517 College Street, Suite 400
Tel: (416) 923-3529
Fax: (416) 923-5949
Home Page: http:www.web.net/cielap
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