Dump trucks halted by SNEC, investigation to follow

OHSWEKEN — Six Nations Elected Council was blindsided Tuesday night and an immediate motion to launch an investigation passed after a community delegation presented evidence at the general council meeting alleging illegal dumping of slag metal, possibly diesel, coke ash and other possible contaminated materials at the Six Nations Landfill Site.

A local family says they discovered trucks with slag were being permitted to enter the landfill site and dump unknown contaminants — after they say they were being unfairly scrutinized by Six Nations Environmental Manager Clynt King and Six Nations Senior Administrative Officer Dayle Bomberry for bringing in fill to level their property to build a home.

Slag is a byproduct of industrial production — and in this case could be steel slag, a byproduct of steel production in Hamilton. Some countries classify slag as hazardous waste, while other countries consider it a resource as the makeup of slag varies depending what the source of production it comes from.

Steel slag is used in Canada as an element in asphalt road paving, and since the 1980’s has been considered “non-hazardous” by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

However, several videos were presented to the council showing the trucks entering the landfill site and dumping slag. Eyewitnesses said they could smell the diesel in the materials being dumped.

This prompted SAO Dayle Bomberry into the hot seat to answer questions about why the concerned family was being scrutinized about the environmental assessment on the fill being trucked into their property – while unknown contaminants are being trucked into the landfill site.

Elected Council members were visibly agitated by the revelation. District 3 Councillor Sherri-Lyn Hill-Pierce said she was eyewitness to the dumping earlier in the week and confirmed she saw the trucks were dumping slag metal.

District 6 Councillor Mark Hill aimed his frustrations at Bomberry demanding to know particulars on when slag metal dumping permissions were given by the council.

District 4 Councillor Helen Miller answered and said the council approved dumping of metal slag in 2012 on the landfill site, saying it was an approved solution to the community’s garbage crisis. Miller said the weight of the slag was supposed to tamp down trash in the ground to allow for more trash to be piled on top.

“If we didn’t do that our dump would’ve been closed by now, we wouldn’t have had nowheres to take our garbage,” said Miller.

The conversation about the potential contaminants at the dump and who approved what, and when — went on for over an hour between council members and members of the community — all parties frustrated with the clear communication problems SNEC is having with its departments reporting to the council and keeping council members informed of their activities.

SNEC elected councillors were furious with the revelations and put forward a motion to immediately halt trucks dumping slag and other non-household materials at the landfill site while an investigation by a third party is conducted to bring forward all documentation and evidence relating to what is being dumped at the landfill — including testing the soil for contaminants. SNEC said they will bring forward that documentation to the community within 30 days.

SNEC also organized for the family whose home build is being delayed to have answers brought to them by King and Bomberry as to why they have not been permitted to complete work on their property at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

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