Friends of Rural Communities and the Environment (FORCE) learned today that the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has referred St Marys Cement’s request for revocation on a Ministerial Zoning Order (MZO) on the proposed Flamborough Quarry site to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). The paperwork was reportedly filed on October 28, 2010. The Minister of Municipal Affairs originally issued the MZO on April 13, 2010 in response to concerns raised by the City of Hamilton, the Region of Halton, and their respective Medical Officers of Health. The MZO froze the current zoning in place – agriculture and conservation management – effectively stopping the proposed quarry, which requires industrial extractive zoning. The company filed a request with the Minister on May 10, 2010 to revoke the MZO or to refer the matter to the Board for a hearing.
“It’s not over…yet,” said Graham Flint, Chair and Spokesperson for Friends of Rural Communities and the Environment (FORCE). “Our Communities believe that the Province and our local governments and agencies have made the right decisions to protect the public interest. We live in a democracy and St Marys Cement has ‘appeal’ rights. The MZO will now be reviewed by an independent tribunal.”
St Marys CBM purchased Lowndes Holdings Corp. in 2006 to develop the massive below the water table quarry on some 380 acres of land. The company owns an adjacent parcel of 154 acres with the stated intention to expand. The lands lie completely within the Natural Heritage System of Ontario’s Greenbelt including Provincially Significant Wetlands and significant woodlands. The lands are also found within the Drinking Water Protection Area for the Carlisle municipal water system.
The St Marys Cement aggregate license application and supporting technical documents were peer reviewed by independent consultants for the City of Hamilton and its Combined Aggregate Resource Team. They were assessed and objected to by the City of Hamilton, the City of Burlington, the Town of Milton, the Region of Halton, Hamilton Public Health Services, Conservation Halton, and the Ministry of the Environment (MOE). The Ministry of Natural Resources also documented its concerns in a lengthy letter. These substantive official government and agency positions were accompanied by objections from the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board, area schools, the Hamilton Wentworth Federation of Agriculture, the Halton Region Federation of Agriculture, FORCE, and some 1200 residents.
“Let’s remember the broader public interests that are at stake here,” said Rick Smith, Executive Director for Environmental Defence. “This proposed quarry represents a potential threat to plentiful safe drinking water, to fragile natural features and species in our Greenbelt, and to agricultural lands and local food.”
“Our Communities will continue to stay engaged until the end,” noted Mr. Flint. “We fully expect the Province and local governments to defend their decisions. Our lawyers will represent our Communities’ position with the scientific and substantive evidence we have been using since the proposal for this intrusive quarry development first began six years ago.”
For further information, contact:
Graham Flint, B.A.Sc., P.Eng.
Chair and Spokesperson, FORCE
Media Coordinator, Environmental Defence
416-323-9521, ext. 258
For more information, please visit our website at www.StopTheQuarry.ca