REM appeals to OMB
Entech-REM will take its incinerator fight to the Ontario Municipal Board and the Municipality of Port Hope will be there with expertise to justify its decision to turn the company away.
For over two years, an activist citizen group has opposed Entech-REM's gasification-incinerator plant proposed for Wesleyville. They turned out to the council meeting in numbers this week with the news of the upcoming appeal.
Port Hope council met as Committee of the Whole on Tuesday night but, by Tuesday afternoon, Port Hope Residents for Managing Waste Responsibly (PHR4MWR) had already sent out mass e-mails asking concerned citizens to show up and urge council to continue to oppose REM's applications for a zoning change and an Official Plan Amendment to allow the development of the proposed plant at 1516 Wesleyville Road.
Council will reply to the OMB with documentation prepared by staff and other consultants, it was announced at the meeting.
The original resolution read: “Recommend that (the notification from REM) be received for information and referred to staff for a report on implications and options.”
Ward 2 Councillor Greg Burns suggested an amendment to the original resolution, adding that the Municipality will hire a “qualified, independent environmental planner” to prepare studies for the OMB hearing which, according to Port Hope chief administrative officer Carl Cannon, may not take place for a year or more.
Councillor Dave Turck prompted groans from the full gallery when he appeared to oppose the hiring of outside consultants, saying, “I have total faith in our own staff.”
But in the end, Burns’s amendment was not just accepted, but enhanced.
Mayor Linda Thompson suggested the wording be further amended to allow for other experts to be added, “including, but not limited to” the aforementioned environmental planner.
The resolution was passed by council, after which a number of audience members left the chambers, content at having seen their anti-REM position prevail.