HALIFAX, Nova Scotia — A judge in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court has dismissed a challenge from a citizens' group to a pilot program to burn whole tires as fuel at a Lafarge Canada Inc. cement plant in Brookfield, Nova Scotia.
The March 20 decision by Justice James Chipman gives Lafarge Canada the go-ahead to commence with the one-year tire-derived fuel (TDF) project, which the Nova Scotia Ministry of Environment approved in July 2017.
One month later, five residents of Brookfield filed a notice for judicial review of the ministry's approval of the project.
The plaintiffs claimed the ministry's decision was unreasonable as defined under Canadian law and should be set aside and remanded.
There was no evidence to support the project that was actually approved, and the ministry failed to consider relevant factors as required by the Nova Scotia Environment Act, the plaintiffs claimed.
In rejecting the judicial review, Mr. Chipman noted that the plaintiffs relied on a report from Dalhousie University that said there was no environmental impact analysis of burning whole tires in the mid-point of a cement kiln, which the Lafarge Canada pilot project calls for.
But the Dalhousie report was only one of 38 different sources the ministry considered, Mr. Chipman said, and even considering the Dalhousie report in isolation, the plaintiffs' objection was not justified.
"There is ample evidence to support the factual conclusion of the Minister's decision to permit Lafarge to burn whole tires," he wrote.
Lafarge plans to burn about 20 metric tons of whole tires per day at the Brookfield kiln in place of coal and other fossil fuels.