Although no piece of paper makes it mandatory, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) has stated it’s their “intent” that the paper mill waste called Dombind will no longer be used as a dust suppressant on rural roads by the end of 2000. Citizens’ groups are holding paper company Norampac’s feet to the fire, watching to make sure they meet every deadline set by the MOE for moving towards installation of environmentally appropriate waste treatment technology at the Trenton mill, near the shores of Lake Ontario. Dombind has a very high biological oxygen demand, making it especially dangerous in aquatic habitats, and consistently contains dioxins. This waste ought to be treated properly instead of being spread inland and upstream from the paper mill.
Financial assistance from the Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat Fund has permitted the Dombind 2000 Network, a coalition including the Federation of Ontario Naturalists, Quinte Watershed Cleanup and other groups, with legal help from the Sierra Legal Defence Fund, to produce a pamphlet called DOs and DON’Ts of Dombind for the Year 2000. The intended audience is municipal roads departments — they need to be made aware of tougher restrictions for spreading Dombind that came about after the citizens’ groups won part of their appeal of a weak MOE control order concerning Dombind last autumn. Municipalities need to map locations where Dombind is to be spread and make those maps available to the public before spreading starts. They also need to abide by limits on where they can apply Dombind (e.g., keeping 50 metres away from any waterway) and how often over the summer season. The pamphlet will also be useful for rural residents wanting to keep municipal roads staff on their toes and seeking MOE action if Dombind spreading violations occur.