Melancthon Mega Quarry
Proposed by The Highland Companies
It is recommended that you read The Highland Companies application yourself. However, for those who don’t have time to read the 3,100 page / 38 (.pdf) file application some highlights are as follows:
The Highland Companies plan to operate a 2, 316 acre
quarry operation consisting of 4 extraction areas and 1 Central Operating Area
- Dependent on market conditions, the quarry will operate in 1 or more of the extraction areas
The Air Quality Assessment presented in
- In the initial extraction area there will be a temporary processing plant until such time as market conditions warrant a fixed plant
- Worst-case scenario option 1 (of 4) is “simultaneous operation of a temporary processing plant in each of the four excavation areas with a concrete recycling operation and ready mix concrete plan in the Central Operation Area”
- The company plans to mitigate dust through setbacks, landscaped berms, enclosed conveyors, spraying with water, environmentally-friendly dust inhibitors, aggregate and truck tire washing.
Want to see an example of dust? Check-out these videos:
b) Fire in the Hole! (music)
[For a better viewing experience, allow the videos to buffer by starting and then stopping for a couple of minutes before restarting]
Here are some comments/questions from the lay-person who does a little bit of research:
1. The extraction areas will be rehabilitated back to farmland on a progressive basis. How can farmers farm in a hole and be immediately next to blasting and dust? Have the cumulative affect of dust from quarry operations and from farming operations together in a hole been analyzed?
2. The proposed mega-quarry site in Melancthon is right next door to the Niagara Escarpment, a world biosphere reserve. In fact, some of the proposed quarry land would have been designated as part of the escarpment and under the jurisdiction of the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) if concessions hadn’t been made to accommodate the farms that were already in place.
3. Does the modeling take into
account the fact that Melancthon winds generally blow from west to east (and it
is always windy – just check the wind turbines) and that the Niagara Escarpment
is directly east? Word is that the dust
4. Dust and dust suppressants are widely recognized as toxic to plants and people.
5. How often are quarry sites inspected by the authorities for compliance with dust regulations?
Part Answer: "The ministry
[MOE] also relies on members of the public, such as yourself, to advise us when
the environmental infractions are observed as you can appreciate that ministry
staff are not always available to keep watch over the operations at the pit on
a continuous basis." Letter to Mr. Ken Cressey
from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment dated
6. Despite all the rules, regulations and best intentions, and noting that complete elimination of dust is not required under the Aggregate Resources Act, what protection do we have when things go wrong?
Part Answer: "Health
7. Facts: Dust or airborne
particulate matter (PM) varies in size. Total Suspended Particulate (
Fine particulate matter, 10 microns or less in diameter (PM 10) can be inhaled and is considered toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). Smaller respirable particulate matter, (PM 2.5) with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less, is even more dangerous, lodging deep within the lungs and tissue. There is no biological mechanism for clearing it from the body.
Recent studies show that fine particulates pose a greater danger to our health than better known kinds of air pollution, such as smog, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide. There is incontrovertible evidence that increased PM 10 is related to increases in cardiopulmonary disease, asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, pneumoconiosis and premature death in those with pre-existing conditions. The elderly and the young are most affected. Crystalline silica dust is common from processing sand and gravel and is a known carcinogen.
8. Dust from this proposed mega-quarry would jeopardize people, fish and wildlife, the Niagara Escarpment and the neighbouring farm industry.
Silica dust drift
“On multiple times I have argued about the dust from this site only to be met with the MOE saying it falls under the responsibility of the MNR. The MNR in turn says it is the responsibility of the MOE.” Ken Cressey (Jeanine’s Story)
* Notice that the above information has been gathered through private amateur research for the purpose of allowing the reader to make an informed and educated decision. However, while the information is believed to be reliable, accuracy cannot be guaranteed.
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