News

Caledon gets ready to review the Lafarge Limebeer Pit Proposal: Meeting April 5, 2016

Lafarge is applying for a Category 1, Class A, Pit Below water - licence to mine aggregate in Caledon, on the last piece of unmined property that is adjacent to Green Lake south of Hwy#24 (Charleston Road). The licence application is for 111 acres. Green Lake is a narrow, 35-1/2 acre kettle lake made up of open water surrounded by more marshy lands - together occupying about 123-1/2 acres in all. 34 acres of the area to be licensed falls within this 123-1/2 acre area according to the proponent’s hydrogeological and hydrological report.
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Olympia gets its aggregate licence “within a high groundwater vulnerability area...a significant risk level area”

The OMB has awarded Olympia Sand and Gravel a licence to extract gravel from the Melville Pit while noting in a written decision that the site lies “within a high groundwater vulnerability area, a significant risk level area, a significant threat area and a significant recharge area.” In order to wash its extracted gravel, Olympia will have to obtain a PTTW – Permit To Take Water – from the MOECC. Aggregate here is of low quality and requires washing or the commercial viability of the operation is significantly reduced. For CAMP, water taking has been a major objection to the licence application in view of water shortage in the area. In addition the organization believes there's evidence that at an endangered species makes its home in wetlands in the Melville Pit area.
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Efficiencies: Urban Development vs Environmental Protection – 2015 Review of Land Use Plans

The Escarpment, the Oak Ridges Moraine and Greenbelt Plans are currently being reviewed in the context of the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Many environmentalists worry that, in this consolidation of the Reviews, vital environmental considerations and protections are being ignored or watered down while an urban agenda is given precedence. There is concern that the Niagara Escarpment Commission may have its powers reduced or that the Commission may be terminated. Many fear that in pursuing efficiencies the Ontario government has lost sight of the need to balance safeguards for our irreplaceable environmental heritage with the drive for economic development.
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NEC votes to close the Niagara Escarpment to new aggregate extraction

As part of the Niagara Escarpment Plan 2015 Review the Niagara Escarpment Commission has voted to remove mineral extraction as a permitted use from the Plan. This would close a current loop hole that appears to allow new quarries, new pits and the expansion of existing pits in the NEP Area.
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Provincial Policy Statement PPS 2014 – balancing interests?

Provincial Policy Statement PPS 2014 is a 56 page document that is the statement of the government’s policies on land use planning. It took effect on April 30, 2014. Although it's been long awaited, on the subject of aggregate extraction, it’s not likely to sooth tensions between aggregate producers and the communities in which they operate. While there appears to be new language that supports the public health and environmental cause there’s also a new welcome mat set out for producers. In effect, the case for both sides has been reinforced making the whole exercise look like an arms race rather than a balancing of interests.
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Ontario’s Review of the Aggregate Resource Act …End Game ….

For 2 years the Ontario government has been engaged in a Review of Ontario’s Aggregate Resources Act. A standing committee of the government was charged with the review and visited a number of Ontario communities to hold public hearings. The Committee reported its activities and made its recommendations to the Ontario Government in The Standing Committee’s Report on the Review of the Aggregate Resources Act which came out in September 2013. Not unexpectedly, activist groups are underwhelmed with the final recommendations.
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New regulation guts the Endangered Species Act.

The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario has published a report warning citizens that a recent regulation created under the Endangered Species Act has watered down protection for these species. While the ESA prohibits harming, harassing and killing endangered and threatened species the new regulation gives some proponents a pass. “The full protections of the law no longer apply to activities such as forestry operations, aggregate pits and quarries, hydro-electric dams and infrastructure construction – activities that historically contributed to species becoming threatened in the first place.”
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“...sometimes the little guy can win, if he has science, reason and perseverance on his side”

Meeting every week for 5 years to oppose Capital Paving’s plans to mine gravel below the watertable in West Montrose near Elmira, BridgeKeepers, the West Montrose Residents Association, won its fight on August 9th when Capital withdrew their application.
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Recommendations from stakeholders to the Ontario Government Committee reviewing the current Aggregate Resources Act

From the many submissions to the ARA Review Committee - three selections: The Coalition of Concerned Citizens of Caledon presents 15 succinct points to improve the Act / Ontario mayors of the top aggregate producing communities urge greater input from local communities / Dr Larry Jensen, a veteran geoscientist with the Ontario Geological Survey who served on the Technical Expert Panel for The State of the Aggregate Resource in Ontario Study, describes the discrepancies in our current understanding of supply and demand
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