UXBRIDGE: Township is advising residents to be aware of fill regulations, in light of a flyer recently distributed throughout the township soliciting fill sites.
According to township staff, a flyer was recently distributed to most rural mailboxes in Uxbridge Township seeking fill sites for a variety of uses.
The flyer advises residents that the company - Millennium Earth Works from Woodbridge - has an 'excess of clean, environmentally-certified soil' and requires suitable filling locations.
The company claims to offer services at no cost to the property owner, and that a per-load fee would be offered to the property owner depending on the volume of soil imported.
According to Millennium Earth Works, a minimum of 50 loads are needed to apply for this service.
Township CAO Ingrid Svelnis spoke to The Standard regarding what is required under the township's site alteration by-law.
"People will require a fill permit for the quantities they speak to and permits would need to be obtained from the Township of Uxbridge for land not regulated and from the Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority for lands in the regulated area," Ms. Svelnis explained.
Without the proper permits in place, property owners could unknowingly be exposing themselves to undue hardships should authorities become aware of improper filling activities on their property.
"Unfortunately, without a permit people will find themselves being caught and as the property owner they are responsible and it would be a shame if people think that getting a flyer means all is well." Ms. Svelnis added.
It was further explained by Ms. Svelnis that for township-controlled properties, anything over five loads of fill requires a permit from the municipality. Anything greater than 10 loads of fill will require approval from Council.
The issue of commercial fill was hotly debated during the 2010 municipal election, with the majority of councillors voicing their opposition to such sites springing up throughout the township without proper guidelines in place from provincial agencies, such as the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Natural Resources.
It's unknown whether a connection exists between Millennium Earth Works and Earthworx Industries, the company which operated the Lakeridge Rd. fill site in Scugog Township, which brought the issue of commercial fill to the attention of the province in 2010. That site was shut down in 2011 following a lengthy court battle between the business and Scugog, in which a provincial tribunal ruled in the township's favour by declaring that Earthworx was operating a fill site and not engaged in the construction of a rural airport as the owner had argued.
"To leave all of the monitoring of commercial fill sites on the backs of the lowest tier of government who does not have the expertise or the resources to properly monitor what is coming into these sites, is not something that I am interested in bringing to this township. I don't want to be a part of something that could potentially poison our water," said Mayor Gerri Lynn O'Connor. "No one wants another Walkerton, which would of course be the worst case scenario."