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Watch for St Marys Cement Newsletter.
Company Accelerates the ARA Process!

St Marys Cement has indicated to FORCE that it plans to distribute a Community Newsletter in the next few days. Watch for St Marys Cement Flamborough Quarry - Community Newsletter Issue #9 - Fall 2009 in your mail box. The newsletter outlines the company's next steps in support of its application for an Aggregate Licence for the proposed Flamborough Quarry under the Aggregate Resource Act (ARA).

The newsletter indicates that residents who objected to the Aggregate Licence Application in May of this year, as part of the 45 day public consultation period under the ARA, will be receiving a letter outlining St Marys Cement's response to those objections.

Three weeks after receiving the first letter, St Marys Cement indicates that it will then be sending a second mailing, an "Official Notice of Objector Response" via registered mail. This second mailing – the "Official Notice of Objector Response" – will trigger a 20 day response period for all of us and for the government agencies, as objectors. If objectors do not respond to this second letter, by reaffirming their objections in writing within 20 days, their objections will be considered withdrawn.

After St Marys Cement has waited the 20 days required for objectors to re-confirm their objections, it could then prepare and submit the necessary Aggregate Licence Application package to the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) describing the outstanding objections and the process it followed to attempt to resolve those objections. MNR staff will then have 30 days to make a recommendation to the Minister to either grant the license (with or without conditions), to refuse the license, or to refer the licence application and its outstanding issues to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), once that report is received. Alternatively, St Marys Cement could also come back to us, as community residents, and to the government agencies, to conduct an additional round (or rounds) of objection responses and required objector notices. The company must, however, submit its ARA License Application report to MNR within two years of the public notification of the company's initial application. That deadline is April 2011.

If the timelines are fully compressed by St Marys Cement, and the company submits the ARA material to MNR as early as possible, the MNR decision to approve, reject or refer the Aggregate Licence Application could be made early in 2010.

FORCE will be monitoring these activities as they unfold and will be providing information, instructions, and support to assist all of us as community objectors to make sure that our objections remain in force. It is very important that we all continue to register our objections to demonstrate our solid and substantive opposition to this proposal.

The process outlined by St Marys Cement in the newsletter may be executing the basic steps of the Aggregate Licence Application process, but its timing continues to reflect the lack of any serious engagement with the Community or Governmental Agencies involved with this application and its review process. Each of the local municipalities and agencies involved with this application, including Hamilton, Burlington, Milton, Halton Region, the Public Health departments, Conservation Halton, the Provincial Ministry of the Environment (MOE) and the Ministry of Natural Resources, objected to the quarry license application, as did over 1,200 individual community residents.

Significant and numerous concerns were raised, especially in the key areas of hydrogeology (groundwater) and transportation. No new work has been released by St Marys Cement in either of these areas since the 45 day consultation period in the spring, and yet we are led to believe by Community Newsletter #9 that St Marys Cement has somehow developed appropriate responses to all of the original objections. We remain extremely concerned and disappointed with St Marys Cement's approach. For example, consider the claim made in Newsletter #6 distributed by St Marys Cement in October 2007. It asserted that "St Marys is committed to successfully demonstrating our GRS (Groundwater Recirculation System) method here in Flamborough, before this system is implemented or added as a component to our final application." So far, not even the baseline groundwater studies have been successfully completed and no demonstration of the GRS, or any type of mitigation system, has even been tested on the site. In fact, St Marys Cement let its temporary Permit to Take Water (PTTW) for testing, expire at the end of June, with the research incomplete, even though the MOE told the company its work was unacceptable and had to be redone.

We won't be fooled by St Marys Cement's response to our objections. Please watch your mail box for items from St Marys Cement over the next few weeks, and in the coming months. Please also keep watching your e-mail and checking the community website (www.stopthequarry.ca) for further information and instructions.

Our fight may be accelerating in pace, but all of these steps were expected and anticipated. The fact that St Marys Cement seems to want to jump forward to the 20 day objector stage, without meaningfully addressing legitimate issues and concerns, doesn't change the important facts of the situation. Those facts - scientific, technical and legal - which have been tested and validated numerous times now, still lead to only one reasonable conclusion. This is the wrong place to establish a large scale open pit industrial mine. By continuing to work together, we will ensure that those facts continue to come to light and win the day. None of us could win this battle on our own, but by pooling our resources and working together we can.

(We remind everyone reading this information to think of those in our community who may not be connected to the internet and ask that you take steps to ensure that they have access to this information. Perhaps you could drop it by their home, or perhaps you could print several copies and take it with you to services this weekend. We will succeed by working together; let's do everything we can to make sure everyone can stay involved. Thanks.)

Together we will succeed!


Together We Will Succeed!