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BEFORE WED.JUN 14 ** Leitrim Wetlands Destruction Fast-Tracked - Please Call your Regional Councilor

========forwarded message =========

The regional council is voting on Wednesday June 14th to approve 
$6 million funding to destroy the Leitrim Wetland.

These funds  would be designated to infrastructure for a major 
housing development which would devastate the Leitrim wetlands, a 
provincially-significant, Class 1 wetland.   PLEASE  take the time to 
contact your regional councilor and let them know how you feel.

You can find your regional councilor at the following web site or 
call 562-1202. 

Todays press release is copied below.

                    Leitrim Wetlands Destruction Fast-Tracked

Region ignores threats posed by migrating toxic wastes and fast  tracks
servicing for  housing development within a provincial Class 1 wetland

Ottawa - On June 6, 2000, the Ottawa-Carleton Region's Corporate 
Services and Economic Committee approved the Leitrim Early Servicing 
Agreement which advances 6 million dollars for water and waste water 
services.  These funds  would be designated towards infrastructure 
for a major housing development which would devastate the Leitrim 
wetlands, a provincially-significant, Class 1 wetland.  

Furthermore,  the Committee has approved this fast-tracking *despite* full
awareness  of toxic materials leaking out of the nearby Gloucestor landfill
that have the potential for adversely impacting the surrounding area. 
A plume of probable carcinogen has already been detected at Albion  Road and
extends some distance under the proposed housing development  site.

The landfill was used primarily for the disposal of domestic garbage. 
However, hazardous organic wastes (primarily solvents such as 
benzene, toluene, etc.) from government labs, universities and 
hospitals were dumped at this site.  Solvents and leachates have 
contaminated two aquifers beneath the site and some of this material 
has migrated beyond the landfill boundaries. 

The proposed servicing  will be considered for approval at the Regional
Council meeting to be held on 
          Wednesday, June 14, 2000 at 1:30pm, 
Haydon Hall, Ottawa-Carleton Centre, 111 Lisgar St..  

It is feared the servicing  will be allowed *before* appropriate, long-term
studies have been  undertaken to assess the risks associated with groundwater 
contamination, thereby posing possible health risks to future 
property owners and clean-up liabilities to the new City of Ottawa.

Furthermore, preliminary studies have demonstrated that the Leitrim 
wetlands is a hotspot of biodiversity, containing over 200 species of 
regionally significant plants, patches of old-growth trees (up to 250 
years old), at least 90 species of  resident or breeding birds, a 
Great Blue Heron rookery, a deer herd and a provincially rare snail. 
The proposed massive drainage works and storm water pond will 
dramatically lower the watertable and ultimately destroy the rest of 
the wetland.

  "The proposed housing development will obliterate one-quarter of 
this nationally important Class 1 Wetland, thereby devastating 
woodlands, marshes, fish habitat and reducing its biodiversity. 
Canada can't afford losing another wetland." said Albert Dugal, a 
retired wetlands expert from the Canadian Museum of Nature and Chair 
of the Sierra Club - Ottawa Group Leitrim Subcommittee.

"This fast-tracking process is outrageous.  The Leitrim wetlands 
should not be destroyed at the expense of taxpayer dollars without 
regard to future environmental or health concerns," stated Rita 
Morbia, Biodiversity Campaign Coordinator at the Sierra Club of 
Canada.  "We expect Regional Council to reject the fast-tracking 
request and will be monitoring the situation closely."  It is 
estimated that Eastern Ontario has already lost 70-80% of its 
wetlands since early European settlement.


For more information, contact:

Albert Dugal, Chair - Sierra Club Local Ottawa Group,
           Leitrim Subcommittee 821-1236
Rita Morbia , Biodiversity Campaign Coordinator, 
          Sierra Club of Canada 241-4611

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