A Ministry of Environment inspection of the Mission Landfill found numerous failures, and the District received a warning letter threatening further action if not immediately remedied.
Environmental protection officers conducted an on-site inspection on March 12, 2021. Their findings were published on April 27.
“The Ministry requests that the District of Mission immediately implement the necessary changes or modifications to correct the non-compliances,” said the MOE warning.
“If you fail to take the necessary actions to restore compliance, you may be subject to escalating enforcement action.”
Inspectors found eight infractions at the landfill.
While most were reporting failures, they also identified waste being discharged directly into a rainwater creek and design flaws causing waste to bypass treatment and seep into the ground – both repeat offences.
Proper record-keeping procedures were also in non-compliance.
The District’s 2019 and 2020 annual reports failed to keep information regarding soil acceptance, treatment, and on-site and off-site disposal; did not include geology, hydrogeology, ans surface hydrology reviews; and did not include aerial surveys to monitor the landfill footprint and boundaries of the site (the last time this was done was in 2013).
Inspectors could not locate any record of company names and locations of where recyclable material, soil, and household hazardous waste was being sent to, nor any record of training procedures and personnel-training records.
While the 2020 annual report was submitted to the MOE on time, the 2019 annual report was found to have been submitted on March 10, 2021 – 344 days late.
The Mission Landfill is owned by the District, and handles its solid waste, recyclable material, contaminated soil and the residual solid waste-to-ground discharges at the facility on Dewdney Trunk Road. The day-to-day operations are contracted out to GFL Environmental.
It’s governed under the Environmental Management Act (EMA), which can levy penalties of up to $300,000 for municipalities.
The EMA generally uses “escalating enforcement” action, meaning warnings are given first, followed by administrative penalties of up to $70,000, then investigations.
Warning letters are taken into account in the event of future violations.