CRH’s Teedon Pit expansion: John Nahuis and Anne Ritchie Nahuis respond
The following is an Objector’s Response to a January 3 2020 letter from CRH Canada Group Inc. Objectors (there are 178) are those who registered in a process under the Aggregate Resources Act. Those who did not register can’t 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.
From John Nahuis and Anne Ritchie Nahuis, Tiny Township
We are opposed to the application by CRH Canada Inc. and the report created by CRH Canada Inc. has not answered our objections.
This pit is in Tiny Township near the aquifer that supplies pure water for most of North Simcoe and beyond and was threatened over 10 years ago by the proposal to establish Dump Site 41. Area First Nation women and men, Beausoleil First Nation, Municipal Governments of North Simcoe, Maude Barlowe & the Council of Canadians, Farmers, and Cottagers and many others came together to defend against such a terrible plan. Even Gord Miller the Environmental Commissioner asked for a complete review. Simcoe County aborted Site 41 plan that would contaminate this clean water.
Scientists around the world have taken an interest in this groundwater. This Water from the natural flows is being used to calibrate university laboratory equipment all around the world. The water is that clean! For organic contaminants, metals and much more have been established bypPeer-reviewed journals.
Residents near Teedon Pit who rely on groundwater began reporting silt in wells, local streams and springs soon after the aggregate operation expanded in 2009 when previous owner operated illegally a wash pond. Instead of shutting down the operation the MNRF approved by amendment these illegal activities with no input from the public. Though the connection between the pit operation and the impacts on wells is disputed by the Proponent and the MOECC, Wilf Ruland (P. Geo.) has submitted in his professional opinion that states otherwise; though these reports were submitted to the Proponent, the MNRF and the MOECC they are not included in the submission though they were submitted to Dufferin Aggregates/ CRH Canada Inc. Why are they not included with the application?
The Liaison Committee was a bitter disappointment to the members whom attended. The terms to be on the committee are unreasonable and basically the minutes were never voted upon by committee members.
Recent documents/studies contradict previous professional reports from the aggregate community. Please compare the reports created by Beamish and CRH Canada Inc.. Even the direction of the water is contradicted.
The main well that was being used for the water records has supposedly collapsed. We have asked repeatedly for a decommissioning report by the well driller. Nothing has been forthcoming.
We have requested siltation monitoring but it was not considered seriously by the Proponent. Though people in the industry have relayed that it would be easy to do.
The information supplied by the proponent for these reasons is suspect and should not be relied upon. Content is important and these inconsistencies are surprising when I read that the MNRF was satisfied in December prior to this public comment period ending.
Many area residents have moved due to impacts on their wells. Stephen Ogden and his family as being just one example.
I believe even the water levels to be suspect.
Silt has also been observed recently in the artesian well water at the water kiosk on County Road 27 just north of Elmvale. This is deeply concerning as the water supplies thousands of people with drinking water and was used in the emergency situation when the blackout occurred when people were lined up over 1 km to get water. With the power being out the Artesian Spring needs no power and served our community with people coming very far and wide.
Traffic-acceleration lanes have not been made mandatory by the MNRF. The turn off of Darby Rd. onto the fast highway 93 with sharp turn is dangerous however the discussions at the liaison committee meetings lead nowhere.
The hours of operation that are being discussed are unreasonable. Area residents on Darby are so close to operation and not an adequate buffer zone to now operate so early in the morning and evenings is not appropriate.
Sound and Dust are also an issue relayed to the Liaison committee.
The Planning company hired to do the work for Tiny Township is the same for CRH Canada Inc. This is a conflict and therefore should be considered suspect.
It is disturbing that the MOECC and MNRF are ignoring concerns by area residents. Wilf Ruland (P.Geo) and Dr. William Shotyk. Professional reports, peer reviewed journals and claims made by area residents are being ignored. The form letter from the MOECC proved that little regard has been held for the hardships caused by the Permit to Take Water and extraction of the natural Filter, the soils and tills that make up the Moraine. Many area residents have moved as a result of their hardships. You will not hear their voices, but we remember.
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.
In addition to the potential environmental risks posed by the extraction and the washing of gravel so close to the aquifer, the pit running at capacity can mean 40 trucks an hour arriving and leaving the pit. No acceleration lane is irresponsible off of Darby rd. and no cumulative study has been done of the current and proposed licences. This study needs to be completed.
The potential impacts to water are so serious that lawyers with the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) have agreed to represent FoTTSA at the appeal.
We do not feel this submission is complete nor do we feel the MNRF should approve the licensing of the site.