2023-04. Funding for Municipal Landfill Decommissioning and Reclamation
Whereas the Government of Saskatchewan has directed municipalities that operate landfills to prepare preliminary closure plans for all landfills which are to be fully or partially closed; and
Whereas the most recent Investing in Canada (ICIP) Landfill Decommissioning intake closed on September 15, 2022 and the selection of successful applicants has now concluded; and
Whereas municipalities that operate active landfill services and that were not successful in accessing funding under the ICIP program continue to exist through Saskatchewan; and
Whereas many of these municipal or regional landfill services are burdened with the prospect of incurring extraordinary expenditures in order to carry out the required decommissioning and reclamation of their respective landfill’s historic cells as a path to ensuring compliance with the provincial regulations.
Therefore be it resolved that SUMA advocate that the Government of Saskatchewan and its Ministry of Environment work together with the Federal Government to re-introduce significant shared-cost Landfill Decommissioning and Reclamation funding for the appropriate closure of historical landfill cells in all municipal or regional landfill operations.
Acts affected: None
Regions/Sectors affected: ALL
Dear Randy Goulden:
Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association annual convention and for your letter regarding landfill decommissioning. I am pleased to offer the following response:
2023-04 - Funding for Municipal Landfill Decommissioning and Reclamation
The ministry works to ensure the protection of human health and the environment by requiring the proper design, operation and closure of landfills. Historic landfills have the potential to be contaminated or become impacted sites as many were not appropriately constructed to address local site conditions and prevent groundwater contamination.
Non-engineered landfills have a higher risk of impacting groundwater and surface water. The proper closure of non-engineered landfills ensures the protection of these waters from potential contamination. The ministry engages with stakeholders to develop timelines for completing closure work. If more time is needed, stakeholders can request an extension.
The Government of Saskatchewan has prioritized processing landfill closure applications to leverage available funding to several municipalities through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). Currently, funds through ICIP have been fully allocated and there are no loans available for the closure of landfills.
Currently the federal government has not yet proposed a new funding program to replace ICIP. There is anticipation that an announcement will be coming in the fall 2023.
Saskatchewan intends to ensure that our priorities are communicated, including infrastructure for water, wastewater, and waste management.
The Ministry of Environment will continue to work directly on a community-to community basis to identify achievable timelines and address the lack of financial capacity to fully decommission landfills. We will continue to search for alternative options for communities in support of Saskatchewan's Solid Waste Management Strategy goals.
Thank you for writing.
Minister of Environment