Court says hearing into tire burning at cement plant can go ahead

Court says hearing into tire burning at cement plant can go ahead
Published: 20 June 2008

Ontario’s Divisional Court has dismissed Lafarge’s bid to stop an independent hearing into the cement giant’s plan to burn scrap tires at its Bath, Ont, plant.

In a 16-page decision handed down Wednesday, a panel of three judges struck down the arguments Lafarge made during a court process called a judicial review held in April to prevent the hearing from happening.

Through the judicial review, Lafarge sought to quash an April 2007 decision of the Environmental Review Tribunal, an independent agency, to permit concerned citizens and environmental groups to challenge the province’s approval of Lafarge’s plan to test burn scrap tires and other waste in its cement kiln.

As a result of the court’s decision, the hearing moves ahead as scheduled for Sept. 22.

It’s anticipated to take place in Bath over 40 days, during which time dozens of experts will testify for Lafarge and the environmental groups that asked for the hearing.

David Crocker, Lafarge’s lawyer, said the firm still has the option to appeal the decision through the Ontario Court of Appeal.

“We’re disappointed, surprised and we’ll just have to think about how we respond,” he said.

Rick Lindgren, a lawyer for the Canadian Environmental Law Association, said his clients were pleased to see the court shut down each of the arguments Lafarge made to stop the hearing.

“They basically considered and rejected every single ground put forward by Lafarge,,” he said. “In my respectful submission, the grounds had no merit so this was the just and appropriate outcome.’”