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Quarry owner would face penalities, hearing told

In Clearview
Sep 9th, 2010

Collingwood Enterprise Bulletin – Septembr 8 2010
Walker Aggregates would face severe penalties– including fines of up to$50,000 per day and even the loss of its license –if it does not meet the com- mitments required to operate an expanded quarry.
The company’s planning expert Brent Clarkson told the Consolidated Hearings Board examining Walker’s application for its Duntroon Quarry about four specific pieces of legislation with which Walker would need to comply, and the penalties for failing to do so.
In testimony last week, Clark- son explained that under the province’s Aggregate Resources Act, the company must operate an expanded quarry in accor- dance with the act, regulations, the quarry site plan and condi- tions of the license.
Failure to do so could result in fines of up to$30,000 per day and the suspension or revoca- tion of the license to operate the quarry.
Clarkson noted that other leg- islation Walker must adhere to includes the development permit conditions of the Niagara Escarpment Commission, the Ontario Water Resources Act and the provincial Environmen- tal Protection Act. The Ontario Water Resources Act requires the company to obtain a permit to take water, with penalties of up to$50,000 per day for non- compliance with the provisions of the permit.
Clarkson sought to assure the board the company would be under strict scrutiny by outside agencies and bound by commit- ments to those agencies, as well as its own commitments, to ensure the quarry would oper- ate as planned. Those commit- ments include financial assur- ances-to cover the period after all the stone is extracted and before the quarry is rehabili- tated into a lake–so that funds are in place for monitoring and rehabilitation efforts, in the event that Walker ever walks away from the quarry or declares bankruptcy.
Earlier he outlined to the board numerous steps the com- pany had taken at its existing Duntroon Quarry to address public concerns, steps which would also apply to an expanded quarry.
These include ensuring only trucks with Ministry of Environment exhaust systems be loaded at the quarry; notifying drivers in writ-
ing to limit the use of engine brakes, respect speed limits and be courteous to neighbours; hiring a retired police officer to monitor speeds and the use of engine brakes on the roads around the quarry; installing light shields to minimize impacts on the night sky; and installing noise reduction materials on trucks and crushing equipment.
Clarkson also detailed for the board the vari-ous modifications Walker has made to its expanded quarry application since 2005, as a result of concerns raised by commenting agen-cies and the general public. They included increasing the setback from natural wetlands to 30 metres from 10, withdrawing a request to locate a concrete plant and an asphalt plant at an expanded quarry, reducing the hours of quarry operation, reducing the proposed license area, and placing a cap on the number of trucks coming and going from the quarry.
 He told the board that the basis for disagreement among the par-ties at the hearing relates to the interpretation of provincial poli-cies, and whether or not there is policy that addresses the quarry rehabilitation, mitigation of any impacts, environmental enhance-ments and net gain for the natural environment.
He then took the board to vari-ous policy statements which he argued supported Walker’s appli-cation for the quarry expansion.
On Tuesday, he testified the quarry’s adaptive management plan would address any potential impacts, and act as an “insurance policy.”
Clarkson told the board that the expanded quarry application does not rely on the AMP to demon-strate compliance with provincial policy, but noted that the AMP “transfers risk from approval agencies to the quarry propo-nent.”
He explained that adaptive management plans are becoming routine in quarry application processes.
The AMP for the proposed Dun-troon Quarry expansion involves continuous monitoring of water and wildlife features, and includes a mechanism whereby the quarry would stop operating completely if negative impacts occur. Quarry-ing would not resume unless those impacts were adequately remedied.
“The last thing Walker would want is not to be able to fulfill its contracts and obligations to its employees by having to stop its operations,” Clarkson told the board.
He s testimony by outlining the comments various ag

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