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I just wanted to post a brief update on what has been happening at Christie Pits this evening.
As you know, I have been alerting the Ministry of the Environment and the City for over a week regarding ongoing leachate run-off problems at Christie Pits, Moss Park and Sunnyside, to no real effect. This afternoon at around 5:00 pm. the problems at Christie Pits escalated to the point that the rink was literally overflowing. Streams of contaminated fluid escaped to the grounds on all sides of the rink as well as into a basin at the front of the rink that is draining - somewhere.
I notified this list and my contact at the Ministry of the Environment (MOE). The MOE District Manager right away sent a Senior Environmental Officer who arrived at the site around 7:00. She assessed the situation, verified the increased run-off, took charge and with a few phone-calls had a pumping truck dispatched to remove the stagnant pool of liquids from the rink (or at least what was left of it) and to suck out the liquids in the basin before the rink. I was told that the truck would arrive soon, CUPE expected to put it through a ritual 15 minute delay - but I then left to have a look at Campbell Park. When I passed the Christie Pits again at around 10:00, the truck was still pumping, flashing lights and all.
Now, before anyone gets the idea that this is an example of effective risk management or mitigation, let me point out the following: - I have been predicting this and documenting it for over a week, none of what happened this afternoon is at all surprising; - Access Toronto/Strike Command have told me they are monitoring everywhere and applying appropriate measures; - That the pump truck finally got sent was the result of my e-mail; - It is not MY job to be monitoring this site in the first place; - Christie Pits just happens to be from where I have been sending pictures - but who is looking at the other temporary dump sites? - No pools of leachate accumulate at Moss Park because it runs off into the ground right away; - Removing some of the water at Christie Pits will not stop the runoff, we will have slow discharge from soaked bags and run-off into the ground around the rink - which we had, even when the hard-top was dry.
These sites are and remain structurally unsound.
But - what I have learned is: MOE can indeed set things in motion. I hope I will see even more decisive action over the next days.
P.S. Ah, yes: Campbell Park. This is a complete fiasco. A small amount of the rainfall ran off into a basin like at Christie. I heard from MOE that that basin drains into the sanitary sewer system, not the storm sewers, so that's a bit of good news. The bad news is that there are drainage openings all around the ice rink, draining directly into the grounds. I had alerted City/MOE of that and sent a picture. That hole had a small mound of absorbent in front of it, which was overwhelmed and mostly washed away by the run-off this afternoon. There was a large, stinking puddle in the park at that spot. None of the other drainage openings had been taken care of: at several I could still see fluids trickling out, and the visual traces of recent run-off in the grass. This has all drained right into the ground by the time I was there. I'll post some images tomorrow.
Yesterday evening's deployment of a pumping truck has apparently removed only about half of the leachate at the Christie Pits site. (Images attached).
As of this morning, 10:00 am, fluids are escaping past the sorbent socks into the grounds on all sides. These effluents are entering the soil and groundwater as I type this mail. Further fluids are still trickling audibly into the basin at the front of the rink.
King City weather radar is showing an approaching storm with peak rainfall over 50mm/hr. http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/radar/index_e.html?id=WKR
As always, I can provide high-resolution images if needed.
Kind regards, Boris Steipe
Here is the Villiers Street Dump footage courtesy of Bill Steele. Not very pretty.
Greetings to all. I am a Toronto resident with kids at a school near Christie Pits. I am following this issue and Friends of Christie Pits postings while on family holiday now in Jordan. I am saddened and perplexed to hear that the issue is becoming even more complicated.
First, can we check the validity of the statement that the garbage now 'legally belongs to Republic Services." If this is so, is there an action we can take with the company?
Secondly, is there a provincial medical officer of health or equivalent that we can approach on the issue - if there are no other bodies apparently willing to take accountability?
Thirdly, in all the efforts to coordinate with other communities organizing around their temp. dump sites, are there resources/ people with expertise who we can work with to forward the issue of the trash removal?
Very interested to hear any ideas and response on these. Thank you,
On 26 Jul 2009, C. G. wrote:
Councillor Mammoliti's actions are completely legal and even if he has a political agenda (which I suspect he might),
Just because something is legal doesn't mean it is
I am of the opinion that Mr Mammoliti's actions are neither.
On 25 Jul 2009 C. G. wrote:
Ward 7 York West Councillor Mammoliti has hired Emery Village, a private garbage collection company, to clean up his Ward.Residents are able to drop off their garbage at a location near Finch and WestonRoad that appears to be a parking lot (not a park!).
That sounds like entirely inappropriate behaviour as the union and the city are negotiating the contract.