The municipality of Franklin has been active in the wake of observations made by concerned citizens of possible illegal dumping and backfill activity. The observations were made in early June, at an address on the Franklin side of Rang Dumas.
In an email, Franklin’s director general, Simon St-Michel, confirms the municipal inspector stopped a backfilling operation while visiting the site as the owner had no permit. Subsequently an application for a backfill permit was submitted to the municipality, including a report from an agronomist indicating that the soil in question did not contain any contaminants.
Both St-Michel and the municipal inspector accompanied an Environment Ministry inspector to the site on June 14 where the soil samples had been taken. Concerned that the samples seemed to have only been taken from soil on the surface, the municipality mandated the firm Labo Montérégie to perform additional soil sampling at a deeper level. About 30 samples from depths of between 2.5 and 3 metres were taken on June 16, to characterize the soil and test for contaminants.
St-Michel writes that the municipality suggested the owner of the property hold off on continuing the backfill work until results from the analysis are available. “With 30 samples that were taken from holes 2.5 to 3 metres deep, we will be able to be certain of the type of fill found at this location,” he says.
The municipality of Ormstown has also been following the situation closely, as the backfill site is very near to municipal water supply infrastructure (wells 6 and 8), which are located on Franklin territory. In a message to Ormstown citizens, Mayor Christine McAleer reiterated how seriously the municipality was taking the matter considering $30 to $40 million is currently being invested in ensuring safe and adequate drinking water for Ormstown residents. “We are taking all precautionary measures to ensure the protection and safeguard of our installations,” writes McAleer, noting the two municipalities are working together on the file. (SR)