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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
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 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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