Residents hear the reality of having quarry in their neighbourhood

​ACTION hopes to raise funds to fight James Dick Construction’s licence application

Oct 26, 2018 by Julie Slack - InsideHalton.com

Residents in Campbellville heard some frightening scenarios should a quarry licence be granted for the Reid Road Reservoir Quarry.

Association of Citizens Together In Our Nassagaweya (ACTION) presented an update on the proposed James Dick Construction Limited (JDCL) quarry on Reid Road last night at the Mohawk Inn and Conference Centre.

Stopping the quarry is the group’s main objective, stated George Minakakis, chair of ACTION.

“Nobody wants this quarry,” he said, referring to the crowd of more than 120 people.

JDCL — a Bolton-based company — has applied to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) for a licence to operate a pit and quarry below the water table on a 72-acre site at 9210 Twiss Rd. It proposes to extract 63 acres, with the maximum annual amount to be removed set at 990,000 tonnes. The land is already zoned quarry.

To fight his application, ACTION, which is a totally-volunteer driven group of residents, is also seeking funds from residents so that they can hire an experienced aggregate lawyer, along with technical experts who understand quarries and their impacts.

Through a PowerPoint presentation, Minakakis said the proposed quarry would be operational six days a week, 12 hours a day for 20 years. After that there’s also plans to operate an asphalt or concrete recycling facility or even a mixed-use concrete plant.

“It could be here for 50 years,” he said. “This is a mining operation for stone, gravel and sand.”

Residents heard the quarry issues are: the potential impact to water, society and the environment.

“It will destroy our property value and quality of life,” he said.

Through a PowerPoint presentation, Minakakis said the proposed quarry would be operational six days a week, 12 hours a day for 20 years. After that there’s also plans to operate an asphalt or concrete recycling facility or even a mixed-use concrete plant.

“It could be here for 50 years,” he said. “This is a mining operation for stone, gravel and sand.”

Residents heard the quarry issues are: the potential impact to water, society and the environment.

“It will destroy our property value and quality of life,” he said.

Slides he presented show property values declining by 15 to 20 per cent for homes within a one-kilometre radius of the quarry. Those three kilometres away could decline 10 per cent, and within a five-kilometre radius the average decline is eight per cent.

In other words, a house worth $750,000 could be devalued by $60,000 to $175,000. He sourced Gravel Watch, The Potential Financial Impacts of Proposed Rockfort Quarry, Feb. 26, 2009, on those figures.

Traffic itself is a frightening scenario, Minakakis said. JDCL predicts 360 gravel trucks coming and going from the plant each day.

“This doesn’t include employee, service vehicles, or the transport of recycling,” he said. A quick one minute and 30 second video of a similar quarry showed some 10 trucks rumbling past, behind a commentator whose words were barely audible.

“Aggregate operations have the potential to negatively impact quality of life due to noise, dust and vibration associated with quarrying activities and transportation of aggregates,” he said.

Residents also heard that their “highly-vulnerable aquifer” could be damaged by the blasting required to extract from the quarry. It could, potentially, limit or eliminate the water from their wells, or contaminate the well water.

Minakakis believes another quarry is not needed in Ontario. There are currently 6,000 pits and quarries across the province. He said the real reason JDCL wants the quarry in Campbellville is that whoever is closest to market gets the business.

So locating in Milton would certainly put JDCL closest to the market of the ever-growing Greater Toronto Area, ensuring he gets the contracts for infrastructure work, Minakakis explained.

“Getting to Campbellville gets you closer to Mississauga and Milton,” he said. “This is good economics for them.”

He also stated that the process for becoming a licensed quarry is outdated and the MNRF needs to change it.

More than 1,000 objection letters were sent to the MNRF by its deadline of Sept. 17. JDCL now has up to two years to respond to those.

In southern Ontario, the MNRF regulates pits and quarries via a licensing and permit system under the Aggregate Resources Act.

Letters came from the Town of Milton, Halton Region, Halton Conservation, ACTION, private businesses and private citizens. Halton MPP Parm Gill has also stated to Minakakis that he will try to intervene with the MNRF, but there are no guarantees.

Once JDCL responds, however, objectors only have 20 days to respond back.

Minakakis fears a response could come on Dec. 24, giving residents little time to come up with a defence, especially over the holiday season.

Minakakis said: “The burden is ours to prove that he does not have the right to have that quarry.

So how do you win? He said you have to have the financial resources.

“We are fighting for our way of life — to protect it,” he said. “Otherwise they will be driving those trucks down our road.

“Financial support is the only insurance plan against this quarry,” he added.

He suggested ACTION needs $75,000 by the end of the year, and ultimately he’d like to raise $1/4 million in the next year.

He also stated that the issue affects all of Milton and Halton not just those close to the quarry.

Residents can contribute by sending an E-transfer to actionmiltonfunding@gmail.com, cash, cheques payable to ACTION, PO Box 24 Campbellville, Ont., L0P 1B0. They also have a GoFundMe account set up.

On Friday, $4,200 had been raised so far through the GoFundMe account.

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