Judge to rule on city jurisdiction at Airport; region asks for groundwater plan

Mountains of landfill on Airport beside farms in rural Burlington.

Mountains of landfill on Airport beside farms in rural Burlington.

Following a court appearance on Oct. 4, the judge is prepared to rule on whether the city’s site alteration bylaw applies to the Burlington Executive Airport.

The Airport maintains the city has no jurisdiction because their infilling activity is related to expansion of the airport and runways, which is federally governed.

The city maintains that not withstanding federal control of aeronautics, local and provincial laws apply, including the site alteration bylaw.

Residents have expressed significant concerns about the amount, location, height and quality of landfill, particularly after an environmental report found it did not meet provincial standards.

The judge did raise the question who would look out for residents if the federal government doesn’t get involved in this case. A decision is expected in a few weeks. If the judge rules in the city’s favour, through its site alteration bylaw Burlington could govern where fill comes from, quality of fill, where (and how high) it is placed on site, among other issues.

Meantime, the Airport has provided a plan to the Ministry of the Environment to test groundwater in the area for any impacts related to the fill, and its quality. The city requested that plan from the Airport and the MOE but was denied. I brought a motion to the Health & Social Services Committee of Halton Region directing our medical officer of health to request that the MOE provide the Region with that plan. That motion was passed by Committee and subsequently Regional Council.

For more information and background visit the city’s webpage dedicated to the Airport.