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Construction, demolition debris business wants to add composting, soil disposal and transfer work

BY KIRK STARRATT

Kings County Advertiser

Kings County council has given initial consideration to amendments to an existing development agreement that would allow more flexibility and other accessory uses at a construction and demolition debris disposal (C&D) site on the North River Road at Magee Lake.

The matter will now go to a future public hearing.

County planner Ben Sivak said the original development agreement for the 38-acre property in the Forestry Zone was approved in 2003. The provincial Department of Environment (DOE) licenses the operation, including monitoring, reporting and contingency plans. “They’re responsible for environmental controls, including drainage,” Sivak said.

The county planning advisory committee (PAC) considered an application from Derrick Shaffer Nov. 24 to amend the agreement to allow for more flexibility and permit the development of an accessory transfer station, composting facility and soil disposal site.

PAC requested more information on the changes and environmental controls. Sivak said each accessory use would require a license from DOE.

Staff suggested Jan. 7, 2010 as the date for the public hearing, to be followed by a special council session for second and final consideration. Councillor Chris Parker said, as the councillor for the area, he has no problem giving the amendments initial consideration and sending the matter to a public hearing. He encouraged councillors to tour the site before the hearing.

However, Parker said he thinks the matter will be controversial and, if the hearing is held with the vote afterward, there would be no chance for councillors to consider information presented. He suggested holding the hearing Jan. 14, and then holding a special council to vote Jan. 19. Staff will help council determine an appropriate date.

Councillor Eric Smith said he expressed concerns with the location at PAC, and he still has concerns. There are lakes and rivers close by, and he wouldn’t want Magee Lake, a possible back-up water source for Kentville, to be affected.

Councillor Basil Hall said he would vote to move the matter ahead but, to house contaminated soil in this location, he would need some “mighty fine convincing” from DOE there is no risk. He drew attention to the watershed on the South Mountain and said the matter should be researched closely. He has no problem with the other proposed uses.

Councillor Dick Killam visited the site and was able to alleviate several personal concerns. He urged others to do likewise.

PAC member Merrill Ward isn’t opposed to the C&D site - it’s needed, but he questions the location, in a watershed with the major flow toward the Valley. “I’m not opposed to anyone trying to make a living,” he said, but he has questions surrounding monitoring wells for the site and how samples are taken.

About the proposed accessory uses…

In a staff report to council about the proposed accessory uses, the applicant says ordinary waste and recyclables, such as appliances and pop bottles, may accompany C&D materials. Permitting an accessory transfer station would enable the applicant to sort, temporarily store and transport these materials to the a dump or recycling facility.

DOE must grant approval before the transfer station can be constructed. Applicants must submit detailed information, including a site plan, facility design details and a ground and surface water monitoring plan. DOE department says the applicant has applied to operate a transfer station and that the information submitted meets its guidelines. However, DOE would not issue approvals until the municipality permits the use.

The applicant indicates compostable materials may also accompany C&D materials. DOE must grant an approval for a composting facility, requiring applicants to conduct hydrological and surface water assessment. There are also a number of design and operational controls, including minimum separation distances, odour controls, site design, ground and surface water monitoring and contingency plans.

The applicant also says contaminated soil, such as soil soaked from a home oil tank leak, may accompany C&D materials. Permitting an accessory contaminated soils site would enable the applicant to dispose of these contaminated soils on site. DOE must grant an approval for this as well.

Organizations: Department of Environment, Kings County council

Geographic location: Magee Lake, North River Road, Kentville South Mountain

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