Abandoned Landfills

Brief History

The former City of Moncton landfill site, located on 35 hectares (87acres) of land along the Petitcodiac riverfront, began operating shortly after the causeway was built in 1968. Historical records reference the following notable wastes disposed of at the facility: petroleum waste oil, liquid animal waste, asbestos pipe insulation, urea-formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI), cleaning solution – sodium hydroxide SCA-134, septic waste, sewage sludge and medical wastes. The site was closed in 1992 after 20 years of operation.Moncton_landfill_May_28_09 001_resize

Pollution Source

In 2000, an environmental investigation conducted by the Environmental Bureau of Investigations (EBI) and Petitcodiac Riverkeeper, revealed that thousands of litres of toxic leachate was entering the Petitcodiac River every day from various discharge points at the former Moncton landfill along Jonathan Creek.

Legal Action

In February 2002, charges were subsequently laid by Environment Canada’s Enforcement Branch against the City of Moncton and a consulting firm in relation to this case.
The City of Moncton pled guilty to these charges in September 2003 and agreed to a closure plan that would eliminate the toxic discharges into Jonathan Creek and the Petitcodiac River.

Penalty

In 2007, the consulting firm was found guilty by the courts and ordered to pay $28,000 in fines. This was the first time that an engineering firm was found guilty under the federal Fisheries Act

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in Canada.

Results

More than five years after this court order and eight years after the toxic discharges were discovered, a draft closure plan has still not been implemented. Little progress on the landfill case was made in 2008 and to-date clean-up has not yet started. Unfortunately, this delay causes further degradation of water quality and species habitat in the creek.

What can I do?

Contact the City of Moncton and Environment Canada with your concerns about leachate discharging from the former city landfill.

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