UPDATED AGAIN Objectors respond to CRH on Teedon Pit extension
Updated with responses from Tiny Township, FoTTSA, Wilf Ruland, Nahuises
AWARE News Network
There’s a process going on at the moment under the provincial Aggregate Resources Act (ARA) that involves the 178 objectors who registered their opposition to the proposed Teedon Pit extension. The proposal will involve increased aggregate extraction from an area that is the source of water that has – amazingly! – been identified as the purest water ever to have been scientifically tested.
In a letter to the Springwater News, Dr. William Shotyk suggests that the reason for the exceptional quality of the water may be the filtration by the soils of the Simcoe (or Waverley) Uplands. “To help us all better understand these unique, artesian groundwater flows systems, an interdisciplinary team of scientists has been assembled from several universities, to bring all available expertise to bear on this topic,” Shotyk writes.
Three weeks ago, objectors under the ARA process received a letter from the proponent, CRH Canada Group Inc., presenting the reasons CRH feels they no longer have cause for concern, but inviting them, if they disagree, to respond by registered mail or in-person delivery to the company and the Ontario ministry of natural resources and forestry.
Check the Friends of the Waverley Uplands Facebook page for recent developments, including the fact that the person at the ministry who is named by CRH as the person to whom a copy of the letter is to be hand-delivered cannot be accessed, and an offer by Simcoe North MP Bruce Stanton to undertake the deliveries for his constituents (if you are registered as an objector, and received the CRH letter, get your response to him tomorrow, Friday January 24, by noon).
Those who did not register aren’t invited to respond under this process but can continue to fight to protect the water in the political arena – local, provincial and federal – and in the court of public opinion. An LPAT (formerly OMB) hearing is to be held, perhaps later this year.
Here are links to the CRH letter and some responses:
“The County of Simcoe Official Plan maps the site as a “High Potential Mineral Aggregate Resource” area and the Township of Tiny Official Plan maps the site as a “Mineral Aggregate Resources II” area. The intent of this mapping is to protect this important mineral aggregate resource for future use.
“The Provincial Policy Statement requires that existing mineral aggregate operations be protected for continued use and potential expansion. The proposed Teedon Pit Extension is a proposed expansion to the existing pit and meets, or exceeds, all of the policy requirements, including policies to protect groundwater resources.”
“The Township is fundamentally opposed to the extraction and washing of aggregate in environmentally sensitive areas… there is presently a groundwater study being undertaken by Dr. Cherry et al and that the findings of this report be taken into consideration by the Province prior to the issuance of any further licenses.
“…Although the majority of the Township’s comments have been addressed, the Township is not satisfied that all matters related to this proposal have been satisfactorily dealt with for the reasons station in this letter.”
“In its failure to protect area water resources, as outlined by Mr. Ruland, FoTTSA does not believe the CRH notice has had regard for the requirements of section 12 of the Aggregate Resources Act. ”
“Licensing the Teedon Pit Extension will add many more years of aggregate washing in the leaking aggregate washing operation being carried out in the Teedon Pit, resulting in many more years of loading the aquifer with silt-laden wash water.
…”A moratorium should be placed on approvals of aggregate developments (including the Teedon Pit Extension), until a broader hydrogeological study of the Waverley Uplands is carried out which explicitly addresses the cumulative potential impacts of the numerous proposed aggregate operations on the groundwater flow system of the upland and the surrounding area.”
“The fact that this activity is legal does not make it right. These policies are outdated and fail to take into account a unique and pristine water resource that should be protected for future generations.”
“The current Aggregate Resources Act allows pits/quarries to be dug anywhere including environmentally protected land; it bypasses the environmental assessment process; it does not require that proof of need of the aggregate be established; it requires that pits/quarries be dug “close to market” undermining recycling; it does not quantify cumulative impacts and it does not take farmland, source water or people’s health protection into account.
“With the existing Teedon Pit not even close to being fully extracted, CRH’s request for an expansion is premature, excessive and would cheat future planners. This proposal does not make conservation or Ontario’s future options a priority.”
“My utmost concern as a Canadian and local inhabitant living on First Nations treaty land is that CRH Canada Group and the Crown has failed in their duty to consult indigenous peoples.”
“Canada, with 0.5% of the world’s population has 15% of the worlds water (30 times our share), and what do we do with it? More important “What should we do with it?” Protect it? Build bridges? Or take a breath, do the research and then decide what is safe and what is feasible?”
“If you don’t have good water you don’t have a good place to live. Area residents are tired of being ignored. It is very personal when you come home from your job to find your cattle will not drink the water. Your washing machine, toilets and water heater fill up with silt and your clothes do not come out clean. You put on the suggested filter but it does not filter out the fine particulate matter. Probably this silt is the very reason we have the Cleanest Water in the World ever identified. But the Hardships are a great burden. These issues only occur with the development and dewatering of the site.”
What to do if you are an objector and you want to be sure you get your response in to CRH and MNRF?
FOTTSA advises: Objector Responses need to go to both MNR and CRH, ideally hand-delivered, date-stamped and signed by the person who receives them. The deadline is January 30 2020.
1. CRH Canada Group Inc
2300 Steeles Avenue W. 4th Floor
Concord, Ontario L4K 5X6
To — Jessica Ferri.
A signature and date stamp should be provided. If you take 2 copies of your Objector Response, then both can be date-stamped and signed for, and you’ll have a copy as proof of delivery.
2. Ministry of Natural Resources
2284 Nursery Road,
Midhurst, On L9X 1N8
There, enter the front door vestibule during office hours (8:30 am – 4:30 pm). There is a telephone and a staff directory there. Call Robert Herbst at 705-725-7597 or Kim Benner at 705-725-7534 who will accept your Objector Response, date stamp and sign it; ditto for the copy you’ll take with you. If objectors know their rough time of arrival, call either of these ahead of time. A back-up person is John Almond at 705-725-7542. Might be wise to take your cell phone.
There is a a locked drop box in the vestibule that is checked daily for correspondence which is date stamped and initialed by the staff person receiving it. This is not as good as getting your submission copy and your backup copy date stamped and signed.