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Open Letter re: Collingwood Ethanol

(August 18, 2008) Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson wrote an open letter to the Minister of Environment today calling upon the government to show leadership with regard to the ongoing concerns relating to the Collingwood Ethanol plant. OPEN LETTER

August 18, 2008

The Honourable John Gerretsen, MPP
Minister of Environment
135 St. Clair Avenue West
Toronto, Ontario  M4V 1P5

Dear Minister:

I am writing on behalf of a number of constituents who have contacted my office with very serious concerns about noise and pollution emanating from Collingwood Ethanol in the Town of Collingwood.

I know that you are in receipt of letters from Mayor Chris Carrier, Collingwood Ethanol and the Collingwood East Environmental Action Committee on the same issue.  Given the significant concerns that have been expressed by all of the parties involved, I think it is incumbent upon you, as Minister of Environment, to provide leadership from the province on this ongoing matter.

This is an issue that I first raised with your predecessor, Laurel Broten, last summer when I forwarded a series of emails to her from area residents who expressed legitimate concerns about noise and pollution emanating from the plant.  A response was received that indicated that your ministry would be undertaking a series of tests to ensure compliance with the Certificate of Approval.  Unfortunately, it has now been a year since that first letter and it would appear as though the problem is just getting worse.

I am enclosing emails that I received over the weekend from local residents who in several instances describe the situation over the weekend as "the worst ever disgusting foul odors to date."  Clearly this situation has gone from bad to worse.

To that end, I am asking you to get personally involved in this situation.  The community deserves to know whether the air they are breathing is healthy and we all need to know what specific steps your ministry is undertaking with firm timelines for their completion and constant reporting through the local media on the results of your testing.  I would also ask you to make yourself available at the first opportunity to meet with me and representatives from each of the parties involved so that everyone is on the same page and so that we can have a clear understanding of what your ministry is going to do to rectify this situation with solid timelines attached.

I appreciate your immediate attention to this matter and look forward to your response.

Please accept my best wishes.

Sincerely,

Original signed by Jim Wilson

Jim Wilson, MPP
Simcoe-Grey

Encl.

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