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Incinerator disputes settled with Covanta


It remains unclear what portion of the $1.75 million payment from Covanta will be going to Durham Region.

By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express

Covanta has agreed to pay $1.75 million to the regions of Durham and York in order to satisfy 2016 obligations pursuant to the Durham York Energy Centre (DYEC) project agreement.

The two sides spent much of this year negotiating a settlement on disagreements over the DYEC annual reconciliation for 2016.

Regional council gave its final approval of the settlement earlier this month.

As reported earlier in The Oshawa Express, areas of contention within the 2016 reconciliation included losses and increased costs incurred last year due to Covanta’s failure to meet performance requirements.

It’s still unclear how much of the $1.75 million being shelled out by Covanta that Durham will receive.

The New Jersey-based company has also agreed to issue, at no cost to the regions, a change request for the design, installation, operation, and maintenance of a thermal imaging system for a fire suppression and management system at the centre. Last year saw several small fires at the incinerator, which caused unplanned shutdowns for, at times, lengthy periods.

The settlement also includes a final adjustment to fees owed to Covanta by the regions for operation of the DYEC in 2016, equalling $1,367,423.41.

Further, Covanta has agreed to pay adjusted sewer charges for last year, based on actual measured flow over a one-year period captured by an appeal meter.

Council approved the settlement by a vote of 17 to 7, with Oshawa Mayor John Henry and Councillors John Aker, Dan Carter, Bob Chapman, and Nester Pidwerbecki in favour.

Councillors Amy McQuaid-England, John Neal and Doug Sanders were opposed.

Clarington Councillor Joe Neal was vehement that the region was getting the short end of the stick of the settlement.

“Most of what has happened is because of Covanta’s issues, not ours,” Neal said. “I don’t see any reason why we’d want to do this and not go to arbitration.”

Neal noted he felt the region’s lawyers had done a great job representing the corporation when negotiating the project agreement with Covanta but it was all for not with the settlement.

“We are writing off some of the great legal work,” Neal continued. “I think they outsmarted us.”