Reader’s letter: Toxin testing of properties to be ramped up in Essex

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Re: Reader’s Letter: Disappearance of Farmlands, by Douglas McLaughlin, May 9

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The loss of farmland is alarming across Ontario where construction is booming – not just for the sites, but also for excavations and the dumping of “clean fill” (defined as soil, concrete, brick, stone, etc.).

Construction companies use location finders to locate farmlands that are close by and sparsely populated, and also have shelters that don’t question “benefits” or require expensive toxin testing.

Often these sites are unguarded, unfenced, and gates are left open. That often helps with late dumping, so many Ontario townships have to undergo constant testing at the company’s expense.

But that doesn’t happen in Essex. As revealed in a recent council meeting, the city is not asking questions or testing them, even on sites that have been operating since 2018.

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So, who will warn a buyer that the farm was an unregulated landfill? Who is responsible for cleaning up if toxins are dumped? Who supervises the locks and drainage?

Councils are expected to represent and protect the residents, as well as stewards of the land.

Their function is not to accelerate the destruction of our valuable farmland.

Audrey Rovere, Essex

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