Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Today is the deadline for an Appeal of the M.O.E. approval given to Woolwich Bio-En's location on Martin Lane in Elmira. Presumably at this evening's Committee of the Whole, Woolwich Township will advise as to whether or not they are going ahead with their appeal. Apparently the grounds for an appeal are primarily based upon human health issues which are notoriously difficult to prove, especially ahead of the proposed operation of a facility. Even if Woolwich Council receive legal advice contrary to filing an appeal, I suggest that the Councillors are between a rock and a hard place. Most of them campaigned on varying environmental issues including the Bio-En proposal to set up shop next to a residential subdivision. If I were to bet, I would bet that they are going to go ahead with an appeal. I would suggest that often in this world , on matters of conscience, one takes steps that have little or no chance of success. Not appealing pretty much guarantees failure.

Besides the issues of odour, noise and greater truck traffic through downtown Elmira is the issue of "energetics". This was brought to my attention very recently by some members of the Bio Fuel Citizens Committee (BFCC). Apparently the major reason that this proposed plant will be economically viable and a moneymaker for the proponents is because we the taxpayers are subsidizing it through our taxes. The cost of trucking the feedstocks into Elmira is not being borne by the proponent as much as it is being subsized by the taxpayers. Quoting Michael Purves-Smith "..I object to spending my provincial tax dollars on transporting 105,000 tonnes (70,000 in and 35,000 out) per annum, or about 350 tonnes every day except Sundays and holidays, of someone else's garbage through downtown Elmira and on past my house to a plant that will have, as located, a negative impact on the environment." Wow! That certainly adds salt to the wound when we realize that the project we are fighting , we are also helping to pay for.

More credit to the BFCC. They are putting their time, money and effort where their mouths are. For over twenty years I've stated that citizens working for free to protect their communities should have far more weight put on their opinions and facts that they present. Professional consultants are essentially no more than hired guns and their opinions should be so considered. The BFCC are appealing this decision of the M.O.E. .Whatever the result I applaud their convictions and their efforts to protect all elmira citizens.

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