Wellington – Citizens and the environment won a big victory on Thursday night when a proposal to put an aggregate extraction operation in Puslinch Township was  rejected by the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). The proposed gravel pit was opposed by the Cranberry Area Ratepayers and Residents Association (CARRA) as it is within the Cranberry Oil Well Bog, which contains provincially significant wetlands and a water recharge zone.
“This is a significant win for this community and others facing aggregate operations at the OMB,” said Rick Smith, Executive Director of Environmental Defence. “It offers a detailed consideration of policies from the 2005 Provincial Policy Statement and makes the key finding that the aggregate policies do not override all other policies.”  
This case shows how water and ecology policies and impacts intersect and makes clear how significant a water budget is to the protection of provincially significant wetlands.
This decision is also significant for its treatment of the social impacts of development. While the Province demands that social impacts from aggregate operations be minimized, it does not have explicit guidelines on how this should be carried out. This Board uses social impacts as a key threshold test and clearly relates it to protecting residents from noise and dust impacts from the proposed pit.
Rod Northey, lawyer for CARRA, summarized, “The Board not only explains key terms from the Provincial Policy Statement, it relates these terms to the Ministry of the Environment standard of preventing “adverse effects” and the related guidance of considering worst-case scenarios  and cumulative effects.”
For more information contact, or to arrange interviews, please contact:   
Erin Charter, Environmental Defence, (416) 323.9521 ext. 258; (647) 210-7888 (cell)