facebook link
twitter link
Stop Light Monitor - Green


Have you made your annual contribution? Click the"Make a Commitment"
button below.

Make a Contribution






On March 5, FORCE learned that the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) set a March 20, 2009 deadline for revoking the Permit to Take Water (PTTW) issued to St Marys Cement for testing related to its proposed Flamborough quarry. The deadline is contained in a letter that MOE sent to St Marys Cement in response to a January 22, 2009 letter from the company where St Marys Cement said it would not redo pump tests. The letter defended the ministry's decision to require the company to redo baseline pump tests and indicated that if the company does not change its position about redoing the testing asked for by the MOE, the PTTW will be revoked.

The MOE communication is important for our communities because:

So far, St Marys Cement has indicated that it does not intend to redo the pump test. If the PTTW is revoked, no mitigation system of any kind will have been tested on the site. The company will have offered no proven, viable plan to decision-makers at the province, the City of Hamilton and neighbouring municipalities, that it can protect our drinking water, streams, and wetlands. This should make it harder for an aggregate license or Official Plan and zoning changes to be approved.

The MOE action followed on the heels of a Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) administrative decision on March 3, 2009. The MNR decision found the St Marys Cement aggregate license application to be "complete". The company is now authorized to move onto public and agency notification and consultation stages under the Aggregate Resources Act (ARA) process.

The MNR decision is disappointing, but not surprising. FORCE had asked for a comprehensive review of the application, on behalf of our communities. It was expected, however, that MNR would merely complete an inventory checklist to ensure that necessary reports were present, rather than evaluating their quality.

Hamilton Public Health Services also questioned the completeness of the St Marys Cement application. In a February 10, 2009 letter, the Medical Officer of Health again expressed public health concerns about a proposed limestone quarry on the site. She noted the potential risk for adverse impacts upon groundwater quality and quantity, and asked MNR to consult MOE regarding the completeness of the hydrogeology reports that may have accompanied St Marys Cement's application.

It is important to remember that the MNR decision simply indicates that the application is "complete". It does not mean that the aggregate license is approved. The next stage of public notification and consultation will begin the process of evaluating the merits of the application and identifying all of its objections or flaws.

St Marys Cement has indicated that it will begin the 45 day notification and consultation period in late March or early April. A public information session is required to be held between days 20 and 35. The company is currently booking the date and location for this meeting. Councillor McCarthy's office has been advised that the Carlisle Community Centre has been booked for April 22, 2009. The company must advertise the meeting date and location. Please watch for the ad and further communications from FORCE and Margaret McCarthy to confirm date, time and location.

It will be critical for all of us to write in our objections to the St Marys Cement aggregate license application and to attend the public information session. FORCE will be distributing sample letters to help community members respond to the 45 day consultation and to the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) posting. We expect both comment periods to have the 45 day deadline.

Stay tuned for more updates. Keep checking for FORCE emails and visiting the www.StopTheQuarry.ca website. Events will continue to unfold quickly. For neighbours who are not connected to email and the internet, please print off the key information and make sure that they have it.


Together We Will Succeed!