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Blind River - The Standard, Friday March 20.1981
Eldorado Monitoring Group Closer To Reality
By DONALD MacDONALD
Standard staff writer
Council has moved one step closer to forming a public monitoring committee to oversee Eldorado Nuclear's operations in Blind River by discussing what should be included in the bylaw establishing the committee.
Mayor Bob Gallagher, who had reveiwed bylaws of similar committees found in Port Hope and Hope Township, and who reviewed a document from the Blind River and District Concerned Citizens Association, said he would "scoot through them and indicate what I feel is important."
As a result of that discussion, if the bylaw was in place today, the committee would be known as the Blind River and Area Environmental Group and would have 11 members, seven from the town and one each from the unorganized townships, Thompson township, Iron Bridge and the township of the North Shore.
Committee members would be selected by council initially, then later by the committee itself.
All meetings would be open to the public; the committee would have unlimited access to the refinery site and would have the right to publish any information it desired.
It would also have the right to call in an independent body to review any spill or accident since, in the words of Councilor Hillary Kiernan, such an "accident would be a one-in-a-lifetime thing anyway."
Funding was a matter of discussion. The concerned citizens expressed fear that the committee would be open to charges of bias if Eldorado funded the committee directly and most of the councilors agreed.
However, councilor Gabriel Tremblay noted that funding for the committee should not be a burden only on the taxpayers here and Eldorado should contribute.
Councilor Dave Nicholls felt "if it's a small budget (to run the committee), I don't think Eldorado should fund it."
Councilor Kiernan then said Eldorado could give the funds to council rather than the committee and then council could channel those funds to the committee.
Mayor Gallagher suggested council should not have a representative on the committee. to keep it "non-political" although council will appoint the membership.
Kiernan disagreed, saying council should have one representative so it has "direct feedback" but did not get support from the rest of council.
It was suggested that Eldorado and the Atomic Energy Control Board, along with other regulatory agencies, serve as "non-voting members" on the committee to lend their knowledge.
While administration would be handled by the committee, expenses would have to be approved by council.
Other aspects of the committee might include:
-the power to review individual complaints;
-submission of regular reports by the committee to council;
-members will serve until their replacements are named and are in turn serving;
-members should have background training, which could be proved by AECB, Eldorado, etc.
-the right to be informed of any spills or accidents that occur on or near the site:
-the right to obtain information and advise from other regulatory agencies, such as the Ontario ministry of the environment;
-members of the committee will not be paid, or at least their salary will be nominal; the feeling on council was that members should be completely voluntary ;
-a secretary to handle the correspondence of the committee should be hired.
Those basic proposals will be reviewed by the individual councilors for further discussion at a later date. Mayor Gallagher said the intent of the proposals was "to give us something to work with."
Council has decided it will advertise again for members, this time directly asking for applications from the outside areas, such as Iron Bridge.
While some councilors have reviewed the applications, which total more than 20, council was not ready at this time to give their selections.
- Don MacDonald, Author
- Media Type
- Item Type
- In March of 1981 the Blind River council was attempting to establish a committee to monitor the Eldorado Plant operations. Some of the issues to be resolved were funding, access to information and the site, salaries or lack thereof for committee members and other things.
- The Standard
- Place of Publication
- Blind River Ontario
- Date of Original
- March 20, 1981
- Blind River History
- Language of Item
- Geographic Coverage
Latitude: 46.18336 Longitude: -82.95817
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