In a detailed ruling released yesterday, Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal has granted Tyendinaga Township residents permission to appeal the issuance of a water-taking permit to a local quarry operator.
Several months ago, the Ministry of the Environment issued a water-taking permit to C.H. Demill Holdings Inc. that allows the company to pump millions of litres of water out of an existing quarry in order to facilitate aggregate extraction below the water table.
In August, however, the Citizens Against Melrose Quarry (CAMQ) applied to the Tribunal for permission to appeal the permit due to the potential impacts of quarry dewatering upon nearby private wells, farms, and Blessington Creek.
“We are pleased that the Tribunal has allowed us to proceed with our appeal against the permit,” said Susan Munro, Chair of the CAMQ. “We look forward to presenting our concerns and expert evidence at the Tribunal’s public hearings.”
In its 52 page decision, the Tribunal concluded that it appears the Ministry’s decision to issue the permit was unreasonable and could result in significant environmental harm. It further appeared to the Tribunal that the Ministry had not acted in a precautionary manner, and had failed to consider cumulative environmental effects, when it issued the permit despite considerable uncertainty about the structural geology of the quarry location.
“The next step for our client is to serve and file its Notice of Appeal within the next 15 days,” stated Richard Lindgren, a lawyer with the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) in Toronto. Two CELA lawyers (Mr. Lindgren and Joseph Castrilli) are providing legal assistance to CAMQ.
CAMQ has also retained two geoscientists from Malroz Engineering Incorporated, who have identified a number of serious problems with the water-taking permit and the adequacy of the supporting documentation filed by the quarry operator.
The Tribunal’s decision may be viewed at: www.citizensagainstmelrosequarry.com.
For more information, please contact:
Susan Munro (CAMQ) 613-968-5943;
Richard Lindgren (CELA) 613-385-1686;
Joseph Castrilli (CELA) 416-960-2284, ext. 218