'This project poses serious threats': Milton MPP requests environmental assessment for controversial Campbellville quarry

Community meeting to update residents held last week

July 29, 2019 - InsideHalton.com    by Bambang Sadewo

EMMA:55198220

George Minakakis, chair of ACTION, Milton MPP Parm Gill, and Mayor Gord Krantz addressed the audience at a community meeting to stop the proposed Campbellville quarry on Wednesday, July 24. - Bambang Sadewo/Torstar

 

The fight to stop the proposed quarry in Campbellville continues with Milton MPP Parm Gill formally requesting “an immediate” environmental assessment of the site.

The local MPP first made the announcement at a community meeting Wednesday night, July 24, at Hitherfield School in Campbellville, which was attended by about a hundred residents to hear the latest on the Reid Road Reservoir Quarry application.

“This project poses serious threats to the quality of life, health and general well-being of the residents in my riding in Milton,” Gill read the letter addressed to the minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks.

He said community rejection is focused on potential negative impacts to water quality and quantity — and damage to the natural environment, as well as physical hazards such as dust, fly rock, increased traffic, air and noise emissions, diminished property values and inadequate public consultation.

It was in early August of last year that James Dick Construction Limited (JDCL) filed an application to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) for a licence to operate a pit and quarry and an asphalt reprocessing plant.

The company plans to extract 990,000 tonnes of aggregate annually by underwater blasting.

Mike Balkwill, a campaign organizer with ACTION Milton, a community organization that has been leading the charge against the proposed quarry for the past year, said that an environmental assessment requires JDCL to meet “a higher level of technical requirements.”

It will also be “less expensive” for the group's legal battle as the financial burden of conducting peer-reviewed studies will be taken by the provincial government.

Additionally, it will “make the process political,” he said rather than seeing it referred solely to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), where “one person who has no accountability to anybody” has the final say. There have been more than 1,000 objection letters from residents.

The meeting also heard from Mayor Gord Krantz.

He said the fact that the concerns of residents are shared by all four levels of government sends a clear message.

And responding to a question from a community member, Krantz said he couldn’t be sure of the quarry's benefits to the municipality.

“If there is a benefit there, I don’t know what it is,” he said, making an illustration that if the town gets $100,000 they will probably have to spend $200,000 on fixing damaged roads caused by the operation.

Meanwhile, as part of the region’s continued efforts to halt the proposed quarry, Coun. Kristina Tesser Derksen said that the town has completed the initial findings of the Joint Agency Review Team, stating the technical comments will be finalized and forwarded to the MNRF within the next few weeks.

Although there’s a lot of political goodwill expressed at the meeting, Balkwill said that it needs further support from citizens to “propel it forward.” Among other things, he encourages them to sign a petition supporting the environmental assessment.

Similarly, Coun. Colin Best urges everyone to keep getting involved.

“If we don’t stop this now, it’s going to be there for the rest of time,” he said.

Click here to view this article on InsideHalton.com

Add your reaction Share

Community raises $100,000 to fight proposed quarry in Milton

Residents show their support for the fight led by non-profit ACTION

May 14, 2019 - InsideHalton.com    by Bambang Sadewo

EMMA:54382612

The meeting at the Mohawk Inn and Conference Centre on Wednesday, May 8, was attended by over 300 residents. - Bambang Sadewo/Torstar 

A community organization that is fighting to stop a proposed quarry in Campbellville gets a huge financial boost from residents.

By the end of a meeting that was attended by over 300 residents and held at the Mohawk Inn and Conference Centre last week to hear the latest on the Reid Road Reservoir Quarry, the organizer — Association of Citizens Together In Our Nassagaweya (ACTION) — received about $100,000 in donation pledges to retain experienced aggregate lawyer and consulting experts.

Of note, two attendees agreed to donate $10,000 each to the cause, and many donated $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000 — the latter being the majority where people raised their hands to help fund the legal fight.

“I’m excited,” said George Minakakis, chair of ACTION of the response from residents, adding that he’s pleased to be a part of Campbellville. “This really helps us continue the momentum.”

Earlier in the meeting, Jennifer King, a lawyer with Gowling WLG who has been working with the non-profit group since fall of last year, explained that the application by James Dick Construction Limited (JDCL) to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) to extract 990,000 tonnes of aggregate annually by underwater blasting is “about halfway through the process.”

As part of the approval process, JDCL recently responded to objection letters from residents. In turn, they have 20 days to respond to JDCL — or in this case, by May 22.

“Once MNRF have all the complete documents from the applicant, they make a recommendation within 30 days to the minister,” she said. “When there are objections like there are here, it will most likely get referred to the LPAT (Local Planning Appeal Tribunal) hearing.”

She said it’s important for residents to meet the deadline if they’d like to be considered as a party at the hearing, which might take place as early as this fall.

In addition to opening up the floor to take questions from residents and hear their concerns, which include the proposed quarry’s potential negative impacts to the environment: air and water quality, endangered species and provincially significant wetlands, as well as the adverse effect to property value and increased road safety risk, the meeting also heard from local politicians.

Milton MP Lisa Raitt said she’ll continue to “amplify the voices of the people in the room” and try to make sure that the application doesn’t go forward because “it just doesn’t make sense for the community.”

Mayor Gord Krantz and Coun. Kristina Tesser Derksen spoke of a motion that council members plan to bring forward on May 27. While they didn’t provide details, the organizer said the Town is ready to contribute $75,000 to help protect the community.

“There's not a colleague of mine who doesn't empathize very deeply with what's going on in this area. Some of them could be impacted as well, family members and friends. So just know that that the support is there, we're behind you and keep fighting the good fight,” Tesser Derksen said.

Calling it the biggest community meeting in Nassagaweya, Coun. Colin Best urged residents to “get vocal,” pointing out an example of Bill 66 that was brought up by the province a few months ago that would have opened up the greenbelt. The legislation was withdrawn following protests by the public and various agencies.

“The same thing could happen here,” he said.

Closing the night, Minakakis thanked all the residents, organization members and those who have shown their support.

“I came into the meeting really worried … wondering whether or not we could raise enough money,” he said. “You blew me away. Absolutely.”

Click here to view this article on InsideHalton.com

Add your reaction Share

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.

Click here to view this article on InsideHalton.com

Add your reaction Share

Community Update Meeting - October 24th 2018

Thank you to the over 120 concerned residents who attended the community meeting. ACTION is working hard to gather resources and information from third party experts to support us with this process. 

 

Your continued financial support is necessary as we move forward in this process. A big thank you to all who have already sent in a contribution! 

 

As stated in the meeting, we are still seeking out individuals who can volunteer in various roles within ACTION. Please contact us if you feel you could be of help in any of the areas listed in the presentation.

 

The presentation is now posted for any individuals who were unable to attend the meeting on Wednesday. Unfortunately, the videos have been excluded as the file was too big to upload. Click here for the PowerPoint presentation file.

 

Thank you again for your continued support. Together we will succeed! 

Add your reaction Share

Quarry Update - Great Work So Far

Dear Neighbours,

We wanted to give an update regarding our progress and amazing support from our community regarding the James Dick Construction Ltd. application to operate a quarry at Reid Side Road and Twiss Road.
 

The impact of such a quarry would have an unprecedented effect on our community. We needed to act fast.
 

As of September 17th, over 1000 individual letters and emails of objection were delivered to James Dick Construction Ltd. and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. This includes objections and support from:
 

The Town of Milton who also made a unanimous resolution at their recent council meeting to challenge James Dick Construction Ltd. on the implications of such an undertaking on the Milton community.
 

The Region of Halton sent a strong objection highlighting a variety of issues and concerns.
 

Conservation Halton sent in an objection letter regarding concerns as to the impact on our water and landscape.
 

Woodbine Mohawk Park sent in an objection and strong position that this operation would have a drastic impact on their industry and the local economy.
 

And, of course, A.C.T.I.O.N., on behalf of our local community sent in a formal objection including input from technical specialists that we have retained to work with us through this process. We have requested James Dick Construction Ltd. provide us with an in depth understanding of the proposed site plan and indicated our key concerns regarding water safety, environmental impacts, haul route safety, impact on community and economy and protection of wildlife.
 

In addition, many community members contacted MPP, Parm Gillwho is apprised of the situation and promised to look further into this application. He has promised to work with us and other levels of government.
 

This is by no means over. James Dick Construction Ltd. has up to two years to respond to the individual objections received and at which point, you have a 20 day window to reply.  This is key. A.C.T.I.O.N. is currently working on supporting individuals with options on how to reply back to James Dick Construction Ltd. and to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
 

We have to continue as One Voice and One Community
 

A.C.T.I.O.N.'s next steps include seeking legal advice along with technical advice to ensure we have the information we need to support our position. This will come at a considerable cost and we will need your financial support to raise funds. Visit GoFundMe (https://www.gofundme.com/3knbv-action) to make a financial contribution.  

We need your continued help and assistance. Please contact us at action.quarryupdate@gmail.com If you would like to volunteer or have suggestions for fundraising opportunities.
 

We also want to thank all the volunteers who have knocked on doors, stood at store fronts and called their neighbours. It is through these efforts that word and support has spread. What an amazing community we live in!
 

A Community Update Meeting will be held in the next few weeks. Stay tuned for more information on our website (www.actionmilton.ca), Facebook (Milton Quarry) or Twitter (@action_milton) accounts.
 

Board of Directors
ActionMilton 

Add your reaction Share