Urgent: “The province must step in.”

News / October 12, 2017

After unusually heavy rains on October 9-10, Victor Lind, a member of Save Picton Bay’s executive committee, sent the following note to Catherine Chisholm, Belleville Area Supervisor (A), Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC):

How distressing it is to see TV reports that Picton recorded some of the highest rainfall in the province yesterday with 60mm, and know that the Picton Terminals tarp blew off in the strong winds ahead of this Hurricane Nate remnant.  Many people knew this heavy rain was coming, and some called the MOECC hotline, yet nothing was done in time by Picton Terminals.

We feel that every time the MOECC puts PT on notice, they treat it like a joke.  Draw the line and step over it and they know you’ll just draw another line. This flimsy tarp they are using must be expedient for ease of installation and cost, unlike the heavier black tarp at one end. So they are really not taking this seriously regardless of their plans to construct a permanent ‘coverall’.

As you must know, their zoning status will be determined soon in the Superior Court of Justice. This court hearing is set for October 27, 2017.  If the Save Picton Bay group are correct and they do not enjoy any sort of grandfathered zoning to ship whatever they want, including salt, then I would suggest that any permits or authorizations you or the Quinte Conservation Authority have given or are about to give, could be invalid.

I have been told that they have begun ripping out the rock in the northwest corner of their property, on lands which have never had any Industrial Zoning and is zoned Rural Residential (adjacent to the property of Mike Hymus).  If this is true, it is in direct contravention of local zoning. Can you confirm this activity is taking place?

We fully understand that it is not your mandate to validate the Zoning; this is the jurisdiction of the County and you rely on them to check that box.  But where a local Municipality fails in its duty to enforce its By-laws, the Province must step in, as these laws are ultimately governed by the Provincial Planning Act.

Photos (see below) taken Sunday Oct 8/17 show (1) salt leeching through the cliff face and (2) the flimsy tarp in upper right-hand corner blowing off before the October 9-10 rain.  Imagine how much salt has migrated into the aquifer and into Picton Bay by now after such a heavy rain!

Please dig deeper into your toolbox and consider stronger measures against Picton Terminals (including a temporary shut-down of operations) before another threat to Picton’s water system and more of the aquifer and Picton Bay being polluted with Sodium Chloride, PetCoke or whatever they choose to bring in.

Victor Lind

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