• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

MNR has deemed the Highlands Companies application complete

In Quarries
Jun 13th, 2011
‘It is critical to find a balance between protecting water sources and agricultural lands and the need for aggregate resources’ 
Email from MOE to concerned resident June 13 2011
Thank you for your e-mail of June 8, 2011 to Minister Wilkinson regarding the proposal by Highland Companies to develop a limestone quarry in Melancthon Township, Dufferin County.  I have been asked to provide the following information on behalf of the Ministry of the Environment (MOE).
The MOE is always pleased to hear from Ontarians who understand the importance of managing and conserving the province’s resources.  
It is critical to find a balance between protecting water sources and agricultural lands and the need for aggregate resources in our growing province.  This important work falls under the jurisdiction of several provincial ministries including the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH), the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and the MOE, as well as municipal authorities.
The MNR is the lead approving authority for quarries under the province’s Aggregate Resources Act.  The MNR confirmed receipt of the company’s application on January 27, 2011.  On February 28, 2011, the MNR deemed the application complete and indicated the company could proceed with Notification and Consultation procedures as described in the Provincial Standards for a Category 2 (below the water table) application for a licence.  Information about the MNR’s oversight for quarries is posted on the website at http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/Aggregates/2ColumnSubPage/STEL02_167065.html.
The MMAH is the approving authority for Official Plan changes which will also be required to establish a quarry.  OMAFRA deals with matters involving agricultural lands.
For its part, the MOE thoroughly examines the technical reports which must be submitted in support of quarry and planning applications to ensure water and ecological resources are adequately protected and that any proposed protective measures are adequately tested.  On March 4, 2011, the company delivered the completed application to the MOE’s Hamilton Regional Office with a cover letter indicating that the start date of the 45-day comment period for the posting on the Environmental Registry was March 11, 2011.
To submit formal comments to the MNR’s posting on the Environmental Registry, please visit www.ebr.gov.on.ca and search under posting #011-2864.  I understand the comment period has been extended until July 11, 2011.  For information about the posting, please contact Mr. Craig Laing, Aggregate Resources Officer, Midhurst District, Ministry of Natural Resources, at 705-725-7532.
As a concerned stakeholder, you are encouraged to participate in consultations and public information sessions relating to the company’s proposal.  The Township of Melancthon held a public information session on March 26th.  For more information, or to convey your concerns about this proposal directly to the township, you can visit the township’s website at http://melancthontownship.ca/.  Your concerns have also been shared with MOE staff in our West Central Regional Office.
Thank you for bringing your comments and concerns to the attention of the MOE.
 Jeff Arp
Corporate Correspondence Unit

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