The city of Burlington has decided not to further appeal an Ontario high court decision that essentially Ok’s landfill activities the airport undertook prior to 2014. Left in force, however is a ruling that allows Burlington to regulate any fill activity that took place after the city had passed a bylaw in 2014 to control the activity. The city had attempted to make the landfill bylaw retroactive. Burlington was also ordered to pay the Airpark $40,000 in legal costs with more likely to come as the two sides work out an agreement on legal costs for the original city lawsuit now overturned. If agreement cannot be reached the court will impose a costing arrangement.
Although the ruling allows Burlington to regulate future construction activity at the airport there remain issues of contention. A posting on the city website notes:
The city’s new site alteration by-law will apply to any future fill works taking place at the Airpark, including works to be undertaken in the north-west quadrant of the site. The city will be exercising its regulatory authority in respect of any future works.
There are two other regulators, being the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) and Conservation Halton (CH) that have a continuing interest in the activities that have been undertaken at the Airpark.
The Airpark installed sewage works on its site without the required Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA). This issue remains outstanding.
Conservation Halton regulates portions of the Airpark property, including the tributary to Bronte Creek that crosses Appleby Line and borders Bell School Line. CH has provided detailed input to the MOECC on the Airpark’s application (since withdrawn) for ECA.
MOECC has taken the position that the Airpark must obtain the necessary approvals from the city (now limited by the Court of Appeal decision) and CH before it will proceed with the ECA application. The Airpark has withdrawn its application. However, the issues remain outstanding and need to be addressed.
The city is now hoping Conservation Halton and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change will be more successful in getting some control over the airport expansion activities.
Between 2008 to 2014, substantial quantities of fill were deposited on the Airpark property. Airport officials have indicated the work was done to raise and level a large portion of the site for expansion of the airport. Residents neighbouring the airport property raised a number of concerns about fill being moved onto the site as well as about the site expansion.