April 14th, 2015

Horwath reiterates calls for full Environmental Assessment of Hamilton Garbage Gasification Plan

Queen’s Park – Andrea Horwath, Leader of Ontario’s New Democrats and MPP for Hamilton Centre reiterated her call for a full Provincial Environmental Assessment of the Hamilton garbage gasification plant. Horwath raised the issue in the legislature in November 2014. Yesterday, a Hamilton City Council commissioned report by independent environmental experts WSP Canada supports the call for a “bump-up” to a full assessment.

“People in Hamilton shouldn’t be lab rats for an unproven technology,” said Horwath. “Independent experts have confirmed that Port Fuels doesn’t know enough about what this plant could mean for Hamilton’s air, water and the health of people in Hamilton.”

Hamilton City Council will be considering the report from WSP next week. Staff have recommended that Council request a full Environmental Assessment. WSP confirms that the plant would be 'the first commercial implementation of this type in the world … there is no similar scale operational system using this technology.” The planned gasification plant would use unproven technology that exists nowhere else in the world, except as a single small pilot project in England.

A full Environmental Assessment would create a two-step approval process requiring greater public and stakeholder consultation, and greater study of the impacts of the plant.

“The Liberal Minister of the Environment and Climate Change is ready to bet the future of Hamilton Harbour on the results of a science fair project,” continued Horwath. “The Liberals need to listen to experts, need to listen to Hamiltonians and designate this massive and risky gasification plant for a full Environmental Assessment.”

In November 2014, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change assured Hamiltonians that “of course there will be an environmental assessment.” Horwath notes that five months later, the Minister has yet to take any action to protect the health of Hamiltonians.