The Highland Creek Sewage treatment facility has been in operation for over 40 years. The equipment is antiquated and in desperate need of updating. In 2002, the City of Toronto started to study the need for updated and improved infrastructure at this facility. An Environmental Assessment was completed and in May 2016, Toronto City Council approved the Environmental Assessment. Almost a year later, that same Environment Assessment is still pending approval from the Ontario government.
The five community associations representing all of southeast Scarborough strongly support the recommendations of the environmental assessment, which have been endorsed by City Council. Those recommendations call for the installation of upgraded state-of-the-art incinerators at the plant, rather than trucking human waste through our communities.
Myself, together with the Presidents of the Community Associations in Guildwood Village, Coronation, Highland Creek and Centennial recently banded together and sent a letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne to let her know that we are displeased with the delay and to ask her to expedite this issue. You can view the letter here.
We felt compelled to do this because we have been trying to get action on this issue since last November. Most recently, we wrote to Environment Minister Glen Murray. The Ministry’s reply to our letter, a section of which is quoted below, provides the only information available to us:
“The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (the ministry) is in receipt of your February 22, 2017 letter regarding the Highland Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant Biosolids Management Project (Project) proposed by the City of Toronto (proponent). Your letter expressed support for the Project and concern regarding the timing of the ministry’s review of the Part II Order request for the Project. I am pleased to respond on behalf of the Minister.
The Part II Order request for the Project is currently under review by the ministry. The timing of the ministry’s review is dependent on a number of factors including the complexity of the concerns raised in the Part II Order request, and the information provided by the proponent. Once the ministry’s review is complete, the Minister will make a final decision about whether an Individual Environmental Assessment is warranted.”
Given the vague nature of the Ministry’s response, it is time for us, the residents of the local communities who are most affected by this decision to express our concerns directly to the Premier.
Thank you for your continued support on this issue over the last number of years. It is through community mobilization on important issues such as these that the collegiality and vibrance of our residents truly come through.
West Rouge Community Association