On Friday June 30th, after a nearly 9 month reserve of Judgement, Justice J. Gibson of the Ontario Superior Court released his decision on the City of Burlington v. Burlington Airpark Inc…. the third decision from an Ontario Court, and the third win for the City since 2013.
As the City had requested in this and all its former suits since 2013, Justice Gibson ruled that the Airpark must file a Site Alteration Permit with the municipality, and must do so by August 31st of this year. The Justice also ordered the Airpark to pay the City’s legal costs, and noted that “I do not discern that there is any significant difference in the argument advanced by Airpark in this matter from those it advanced in the previous (suit).”
The Justice also found that the “Airpark has indeed been conducting a commercial landfill business on airport land”, not all of which was required for its as-yet-unrealized airpark improvements.
Local residents and the RBGC have been advocating for fill quality testing since 2013 and the Justice agreed the there was “certainly cause for concern,” on the subject of fill contamination, “particularly on the part of the residents of the surrounding area down-gradient from the Airport who rely on wells for potable water.”
The City argued that there was evidence of fill contamination including from petroleum hydrocarbons, heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and even a risk of cyanide contamination, and that there were and are risks to human health and ecological receptors. The City of Burlington will now have an opportunity to assess soil quality on the Airpark property as part of its Site Alteration Permit process.
The RBGC will be advocating for the Airpark to complete a full Record of Site Condition so that the City and residents can gain a full and complete understanding of any contaminants present on the site, their location, concentrations and ability to migrate through surface water, groundwater or as airborne pollutants. Once fill quality throughout the site is known, the RBGC will advocate for remediation and or removal of contaminated fill and restoration of damaged neighbouring properties.
The full decision, expected at some point to be available on the CanLii website, is a public document: