HLAR Filled Objections to Proposed Mega Quarry

Date: 08-Aug-2017

Quarry plan only 200 metres from cottages, violates Township’s Official Plan, and in close proximity to sensitive wetlands.


Harvey Lake Area Residents (HLAR), a group of residents in the Harvey Lake Area have submitted formal objections to the Ministry of Natural Resources regarding the proposed John Bacher 53-acre quarry, to be located 8km east of Dorset, off of McClintock Road in close proximity to residents of Harvey Lake, wetlands, breeding habitats for threatened species, and upstream from small Harvey Lake.


The quarry proposal violates the Township of Algonquin Highlands Official Plan, which requires aggregate to be at least 1,000 metres from lakes. “It should be clear that 53 acres is an extremely large extraction footprint, comparable to some of the recent applications for mega-quarries on the Niagara Escarpment. This proposed quarry should not be judged in connection with any one person’s character – the permit will undoubtedly change hands over its course,, and should be judged on its noise, blast, market, property impacts and environmental risks alone,” said Gary Schuller, Harvey Lake Area Resident. “This isn’t an issue of residents versus cottagers, nor about the “not in my backyard” stance – this is about the health and well-being of the community, in particular Otter Lake and Harvey Lake residents and the wildlife who call these lakes home – all of whom deserve a peaceful, pollutant free environment with safe drinking water.”


“This quarry proposal is on public land that belongs to all Ontarians, however the developer has failed to show the need to blast this granite which is very common in areas far less sensitive than Harvey Lake,” said David Donnelly, of Donnelly Law, who has submitted the objection on behalf of HLAR. “There is a clear reason why the Township’s Official Plan states a quarry should be 1km away from a waterfront designation – to protect bodies of water like Harvey Lake. At 170 metres from the lake, this quarry would have a negative impact on Harvey Lake residents who will hear blasting, drilling, trucking, as well as potential impacts to their drinking water.”


Objections to the proposed quarry include:

(i) Fails to respect the Official Plan of the Township of Algonquin Heights, and seeks to avoid local
approval
(ii) Proximity to residences, as the site plan progress in a southerly decent to a mere 200 metres
away
(iii) The high annual tonnage of 75,000 is totally out of proportion to the 10,000 stated to be required
for the area
(iv) Faulty noise study conclusions significantly understate drilling noise impacts based on flawed
blasting report (using erroneous drilling methods for Gneiss rock)
(v) Proposed noise mitigation shielding is insufficient in protecting residents who are in extreme
proximity to the operation
(vi) Significant omissions in the Acoustic Assessment Report which failed to account for a number
of area residents and cannot assure that their tranquil environment will be maintained and early
morning calm preserved
(vii) Lack of dust modelling and lack of emission dispersion summary, from fugitive sources of dust
(viii) Anticipated rock fractures from blasting can create numerous new routes for ground water and
surface water runoff and resultant contamination. These risks were not properly assessed
(ix) Use of high potential contaminant ANFO (ammonium nitrate fuel oil mixture) is proposed as the
explosive instead of more expensive enviro friendly gels;
(x) Strong safety concerns that “overpressure and flyrock from the face will be away from structures
as much as possible”. Accordingly “operations have been designed to follow a general North to
South retreat.” This causes great concerns that once the Applicant reaches Phase II, the
residents of Harvey Lake will be in direct danger;
(xi) Traffic modeling for the project is flawed as it doesn’t take into consideration limited operating
seasons due to both seasonal and weather impacts in relation to maximum tonnage. The
proposed route is not considered a heavy haul route.
(xii) Lack of a run-off prevention plan
(xiii) Only minor mitigation is provided by a 30 m buffer for the two significant Blanding’s Turtle
habitats as well as the other wetlands either on t or adjacent to the site
(xiv) The potential for spills/transportation of contaminants via surface or groundwater to Harvey
Lake. Lack of suggested BTEX (Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene and Xylene) testing;
(xv) Seeming lack of drilled monitoring wells on the proposed quarry site to monitor for groundwater
and baseline chemistry and toxicity parameters for all four seasons (1 full hydrological cycle)
prior to operations;
(xvi) Lack of a Storm Water Management plan to prevent acute pollution downstream;
(xvii) Lack of Water Treatment Plan
(xviii) Lack of Spills Contingency and Response plan:
(xix) Lack of water and dust sampling plans for those residents who require lake in-take water
supplies


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For more information:
Saveharveylake on Facebook | saveharveylake@gmail.com

David Donnelly | 416 574 0464 | david@donnellylaw.ca