Buck passing at its very best – while trucks continue to roll into the Air Park site dumping landfill without a permit.



By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  May 23, 2013.  Here is the kind of thing that drives people crazy.  The residents of Appleby Line along with those who care deeply about the escarpment and how it is managed, had a concern over the amount of landfill that was being trucked into the Air Park. 

Like all good people on the Escarpment, they formed a community group to oppose what was being done and bring their concerns to what they felt were the proper authorities.

Truck traffic on the Air Park site.  Each of those trucks has to travel along Appleby Line to get to the site. Photograph was taken after city of Burlington had issued a STOP order.

Roger Goulet, President of PERL (Protect Environment and Rural Life), the organization that fought the battle over a permit being issued for another aggregate mining operation on the Escarpment, wrote us to say that the “Appleby Line at the Burlington Airpark dump truck entrances is an accident waiting to happen. This unacceptable traffic situation has been occurring uncontrolled for years.  We need the Halton Region and the City of Burlington to put proper truck traffic management and safety mechanisms in place before it is too late.”

All this is going on claims Goulet ” without… permits, fill quality controls, off-site impact mitigation, groundwater and surface water impacts, ecological impacts, dust management, truck traffic controls, etc.

The Airpark facility he adds  is within the Greenbelt Plan “protected countryside”; and adjacent to the Niagara Escarpment Plan Area and in part the Halton NHS; and part of the Bronte Creek headwaters.

Goulet then refers us to his correspondence with the Stirling Todd and Nick  Zervos, both with the Region, and says:

“I am writing to you as PERL is a member of the new community group Rural Burlington Greenbelt Coalition. The RBGC is trying to rectify a number of major issues with the Burlington Executive Airpark.

There is something being done on the west side of the Air Park.  Thousands of trucks with landfill are going into the site each day – no one seems to know what’s being done and why – and the Air Park executives are not talking.

“Traffic is but one of many serious problems with this Airpark.  The Region needs to update its files and enforcement because they don’t have all the current facts, or incorrect facts.  For example, the Airpark was never issued a site alteration and fill permit by the City of Burlington. And the Airpark is refusing to obtain a permit, thus is in violation. The City of Burlington is trying to get compliance.

“The truck entrances into the Airpark are an accident waiting to happen…no truck turnoff / turn on lane, no signage, mud on the road, no ‘regular’ cleaning of the road, slippery road when wet, trucks crossing into oncoming side of the road, no flag person, dust, etc.

“A friend of mine drives a school bus on this road and tells me he came very close to having a head on collision due to his school bus skidding on this muddy road at the Airpark truck entrance.

“Hundreds of truck loads a day without proper traffic and road engineering controls is a recipe for an accident, injury or death.  This is a Regional road. Appleby Line is a very busy road, over and above truck traffic.   The Region must put proper safeguards in place, now, before it’s too late.

“Please investigate and demand that the Burlington Executive Airpark put traffic safeguards into place, immediately.”

Stirling Todd, Senior Planner with the Region, communicated with Burlington Ward 3 Councillor John Taylor, no shrinking violet when it comes to Escarpment matters and on May 13th says:

Trucks dumping landfill without the permits the city feels they need.  Air Park executives say they are federally regulated and don’t need permits.

“Councillor Taylor: As requested last night I have looked into the hauling of fill on Regional Roads and the entrance permit issues at the Airpark. Here is what I have found out:

1.    From what I understand there was no access permit issued as they are using an existing farm/ property entrance.  I have also been advised that King Paving (the hauler of the fill) have been cleaning the road on a regular basis and Transportation Services staff have been monitoring this activity;

2.    King paving advised Transportation Services staff when the activity started that they had all the permits required from the City.

3.    As there are no truck restrictions on Appleby Line, there is no reason related to the Airpark activity to monitor the truck activity on this road, which is a similar approach taken on other Regional Roads.  Truck traffic is permitted on all Regional Roads unless weight restriction are in place due to structural reasons or seasonal load restrictions. There are no restrictions on Appleby Line in this area.

“Should you have any further questions, please contact Nick Zervos, Supervisor Road Operations and Maintenance, Transportation Services, Public Works Department at (905) 825-6000 ext. 7632. He is also copied on this email should you want to follow-up with him directly.”

 Two things here.  Burlington is saying that the required permits are not in place and is threatening to fine Air Park if they continue.  The city has drawn their lawyers into the room.

Air Park has come back with: We don’t need permits from you people – we are a federally regulated business.

On May 15th, Nick Zervos, Supervisor, Road Operations and Maintenance, Transportation Services – Public Works, Region of Halton,  replies to Roger Goulet and Stirling Todd with:

“Subject: RE: Appleby Line and the Burlington Airpark trucking of fill to the site

“I appreciate your concerns for the safety of the motoring public along Appleby Line – we share your concerns and take this matter very seriously.

Staff will be reviewing the area and installing appropriate warning signs as necessary and King paving will be directed to clean up the mud tracking.  We will also request that police undertake stepped-up enforcement for possible over load infractions and speeding along the corridor.

Unfortunately, there was no development application submitted by Burlington Executive Airpark for this activity so the Region was unable to place any conditions upon them.  Site alteration and fill permits fall under the City’s zoning/building codes and is not regulated by the Region.

We will also follow-up with representatives of the Airpark to attempt at arriving at a voluntary solution to these issues.  I trust this addresses your concerns at this time.”

The problem appears to be totally out of control with everyone saying they can’t do anything while trucks drive into the Air Park site, dump the land fill which is then spread around by the equipment operators on site.

The work being done is never going to be undone.  The different levels of government will bicker back and forth.

Why not just put in a call to the Chief of Police and ask him to stop the traffic until the matter of permits is resolved.

If the street you live on is thought to be a crime scene – police cruisers park on the street and tell you not to go into the area, a crime is being investigated.  And you don’t drive in.

Any reason why the police could not be called in and asked to prevent trucks from going into the property while this matter is investigated?  .  The Air Park people can then take whatever action they wish to have the police stop. 

All we are seeing is the bickering back and forth.  This evening, Tuesday, May 21, Council will debate the issue, citizens will delegate and trucks will continue to roll in and dump landfill.

Doesn’t have to be this way.  The police just say: Stop until we figure out who is right and who is wrong here.

Or is that asking too much?

Burlington’s Mayor, the Mayor of Oakville and the Regional chair are all going to be at a Western GTA Economic development meeting in a joint effort to bring more business into the Region.  What will you wager that they feel having an airport in the region is good for economic development – and that may well be the case.  If that is the case – take it to the people who live in the area and tell them what’s going on.

Has transparency been thrown under those trucks on this one?

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1 comment to Buck passing at its very best – while trucks continue to roll into the Air Park site dumping landfill without a permit.

  • MNBennett

    Wonder if the fill King is dumping is for a Burlington road shave & pave tender? If so the city may have some leverage to stop the dumping at the source. Has anyone asked?