Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment recently withdrew odour-related charges against Raywal Kitchens, a local cabinetmaker. Spokesperson Lindsay Davidson said the Ministry determined that it didn’t have a reasonable prospect of conviction.
The alleged offence, a breach of the province’s odour requirements, dates back to 2008. Davidson noted that the Ministry has seen a drop in odour complaints since then.
Alena Gotz, a member of the Aileen-Willowbrook Ratepayers Association, said she would like to see new testing done and intends to follow up with the Minister of the Environment to find out why the charges were dropped. She said she continues to experience odour issues in her neighbourhood.
“We are not complaining because it’s useless,” said Gotz. “We don’t believe the Ministry is doing the job of the regulator properly.”
That’s why the Aileen-Willowbrook Ratepayers have turned to the town with an eye toward revitalizing the industrial area, she said.
Bevan May, Raywal’s CEO, said the dropped charges didn’t come as a surprise. He was confident in his company’s position throughout the process.
“It’s always good when things get laid to rest officially,” he said.
May said, although he believes Raywal is operating within its certificate of approval, they are pursuing special technology designed to permanently address any continuing odour issues that might be attributed to the company.
Howard Shore, the councillor for Ward 2, said he was disappointed by the news.
“I think people, quite rightly, are concerned about the air they breathe,” he said.
In terms of what York Region can do, he said he would like to see public health do random air-quality checks. He will also be chairing a town committee, to be formed early this year, dedicated to the transformation of the industrial area around John Street and Green Lane.