Harmer and PERL Rock “Public Day” at Mount Nemo Quarry Hearing: Community concerns dominate Nelson Aggregates Burlington hearing
Burlington, ON – Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah Harmer, Roger Goulet, executive director, Protecting Escarpment Rural Land (PERL), concerned local residents and representatives of environmental groups testified today against the proposed 23-million tonne Nelson Aggregate quarry licence application.
“In the midst of a public review, Nelson Aggregate with a host of ecological and hydrogeology experts on retainer, dredged and drained Provincially Significant Wetlands, and unsuccessfully transplanted endangered trees from their habitat,” said Harmer, co-Founder of PERL and songwriter of the iconic Canadian hit, Escarpment Blues. “There is a real element of trust and confidence that is missing here.”
“Mount Nemo is the wrong place for another destructive, below water table quarry. The environmentally sensitive features and functions of the Mount Nemo plateau must be formally recognized and re-designated accordingly, using the latest science, current regulations and standards, and applying the Precautionary Principle,” said Goulet, executive director of PERL. “It is inconceivable that anyone would think of quarrying this UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Who would consider quarrying the Great Wall of China?” Isabelle Harmer testified, a 41 year resident of Mount Nemo.
“Extracting the aggregate will destroy the ability of Mount Nemo to continue to be a fresh water collector in the future. The result could be catastrophic for future generations in short supply of fresh water to drink,” said Bob Patrick, President of Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment.
Numerous residents around the quarry complained large blasts had cracked the walls of their homes. They also stated that dust from the quarry was everywhere including their roads and properties and that the constant drones of heavy trucks often disturbed early morning sleep.
Harmer and other witnesses called on the province to heed the call of the Environmental Commissioner to establish a conservation plan for protecting and siting strategy for locating new aggregate pits and quarries, leading to too many random and localized fights over new quarries.
The hearing is scheduled to finish on December 14, 2011.
ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): We are Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.
ABOUT PERL: Protecting Escarpment Rural Land is involved in a number of initiatives to help protect the Niagara Escarpment for future generations. PERL retained Order of Canada architect Douglas Cardinal to help it devise a “Vision for Mount Nemo” that would allow Nemo’s industrial past to be transformed into a sustainable, ecological future.
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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Stephanie Kohls, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521, ext. 232 or (647) 280-9521(cell), skohls@environmentaldefence.ca