Siting a toxic waste dump in the middle of a watershed is not a good idea. Just the hint of environmental injustice, taking advantage of a thin population in a very rural part of the province is a bad thing. Governments can forget who they represent and who they are responsible to.
Nevertheless we offer the hand of cooperation to identify a solution that will be a benefit to all involved.
Our suggestion is that the Provincial Government establish a dedicated asbestos disposal facility, properly sited so that it threatens no one’s water, devalues no one’s land, is easily accessed by large trucks, and creates no danger for the motoring public. Such a facility would be designed specifically to provide permanent and safe disposal of toxic asbestos waste. It would be far from settlements. It would be owned and operated by the Province.
Consider the benefits:
The facility could be financed with public funds. It would quickly generate a substantial revenue stream for the Province. It would create some very good jobs. It would be carefully monitored. Such an initiative would go a long way to “greening” the environmental image of the government.
Also, the disposal contractors would welcome a site that they could quickly and easily access. It would save the hassle of finding a site that could accommodate them. It would save the nuisance of sending trucks long distances over roads that were never designed to handle their loads. And, if located nearer to Halifax (the four main contractors all operate out of Dartmouth) it would reduce mileage and the chance of public exposure by accident.
The current hodge-podge of disposal sites is problematic. Many have grown out of ordinary C&D dumps that have graduated to toxic disposal in order to accommodate the demand and sweeten the bottom line. They were not sited or designed for the safe and permanent containment of toxic materials. Moreover, these sites are not currently carefully monitored.
A dedicated government facility would give present and subsequent governments the tools needed to deal with future and present toxic waste problems. There are problems. There will be more. Government could provide the solution.
We would be more than willing to advocate on behalf of the government for this initiative. Let's do the right thing:
- Look at the science
- Act in the public interest
- Observe democratic principles