Concerns have been raised regarding the application put forward by Highland Companies for a licence to operate a quarry in the Township of Melancthon. No decision on the application is imminent as this application is in the very early stages of the rigorous review process under the Aggregate Resources Act.
A total of 2,051 objections were submitted during the Aggregate Resources Act objection period which ended on April 26, 2011. The applicant has up to two years to attempt to resolve all the objections raised. Due to the nature of the application and the number of concerns raised during the process, it will likely be some time before consideration will be given to the issuance or refusal of a licence. Often, larger and more significant applications can take many years to reach a point where a decision is made.
The Environmental Registry posting was extended until July 11, 2011 to enable members of the public sufficient time to provide their comments. A total of 3,735 comments were received through the Environmental Registry posting. The Ministry is now collating these comments for review. The Ministry has received confirmation from the company that it intends to address all issues raised by comments in response to the Environmental Registry posting for the Melancthon Quarry application through July 11, 2011 as though they were official objections submitted under the Aggregate Resources Act process. The company will analyze and respond to all issues raised in these comments within the same two year period established for the formal ARA objections.
The Aggregate Resources Act provides for a full review of the potential impact of such a proposal and takes into account a number of matters such as:
- the effect of the operation of the pit or quarry on the environment
- the effect of the operation of the pit or quarry on nearby communities
- comments provided by a municipality in which the site is located
- the suitability of the progressive rehabilitation and final rehabilitation plans for the site
- any possible effects on ground and surface water resources
- any possible effects of the operation of the pit or quarry on agricultural resources
- any planning and land use considerations
- the main haulage routes and proposed truck traffic to and from the site
- the quality and quantity of the aggregate on the site
The proposed quarry will also require approval under other legislation, including the Planning Act, the Environmental Protection Act and the Ontario Water Resources Act.
The Ministry is committed to ensuring an open and transparent licensing application process. Updates on the status of this application will be provided on a regular basis.