By Don Crosby, For the Confederate
A judge has issued a permanent injunction banning the illegal blockade of Dundalk’s Eco Park.
On July 19 Justice Leonard Richetti of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Owen Sound extended indefinitely a temporary injunction issued by a judge the week before.
The order was made on consent of the parties involved, which included Southgate Public Interest Research Group, and three of its members as well as Southgate Township, Lystek International Inc., numbered company 3239501 Canada Limited and Orgapower Compost Corporation.
In addition to banning the illegal blockade of the Eco Park the new permanent order says that while Lystek is allowed to continue with the construction of its processing plant, the company won’t be able to install any facilities or equipment related to waste processing, storage or contaminant emissions without the authorization of the Ministry of the Environment or further order of the court.
Lystek still needs approval from the MOE before it can complete the plant and begin operation.
Lystek owner Rick Mosher said construction on the plant resumed after the first interim injunction was issued and continues.
“We are grateful for the permanence this decision brings. This injunction clears the air for Lystek and will allow us all to get back to work building our company and bringing jobs to the community . . .” Mr. Mosher said in a media release on Thursday.
Steve Sittler of Orgapower Compost Corp was also relieved to see the previous decision upheld.
“The Eco Park is a good place to build a clean and sustainable business. We are excited about getting our product back out to customers,” Mr. Sittler said in a media release.
For Southgate Mayor Brian Milne the permanent injunction is good news for the community and the Eco Park.
“The message we want green tech and life-cycle solution companies to hear is that Southgate is interested in partnering with them to build a world-class green economic hub that will be good for our community, business partners and environment,” Mayor Milne said.
Justice Richetti spent the rest of Thursday (July 19) hearing evidence on an appeal by Southgate Public Interest Research Group challenging the legality of the building permit issued by Southgate’s chief building official to Lystek in February of this year.
The group alleges that the current zoning doesn’t permit waste processing facilities such as Lystek that plans to process biosolids from sewage treatment plants into liquid fertilizer.
Lawyers for the Southgate argued that Lystek is considered a dry industry, which is permitted under the current zoning. A dry industry is one that may use water in the processing but doesn’t rely on municipal water and sewage facilities for its operation.
The company is promising to use water it recovers from the site such as rainwater and water stored in lagoons.
To bolster her argument that Lysek would be a “dry operation”, Lawyer Lynne Watt noted that although the municipal bylaw requires that Lystek be connected to the municipal water and sewage systems, the company wouldn’t be relying on those services. And the connection to municipal services wouldn’t take place for at least year until the municipality makes the services available to tenants in the Eco Park.
But the chief building official can only issue a building permit so long as the construction of the new structure doesn’t contravene “any applicable law.”
It was Justice Richetti who pointed out that Lystek not being connected to the municipal services failed to meet the municipality’s own requirement of being on municipal water and sewer services.
Since that issue was not dealt with by lawyers for either the applicants or the defendants, the judge has ordered they come up with a plan to address that concern and let him know in a conference call on Monday July 23 otherwise he said he would decide for them.
He has reserved his decision for a couple of weeks. In the meantime he wants to hear arguments and evidence from both sides on the matter before he makes his ruling. No date was set for his decision.