The Niagara Escarpment, that cliff-like face that runs through Ontario from Niagara Falls up through the Bruce Peninsula and Manitoulin Island, is one of the province’s natural gems. It’s a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It’s the headwaters for many of the rivers and creeks that trickle through the GTHA. And it’s enjoyed by millions of Ontarians who value spending time in nature.

But, it’s made of limestone, which means that quarry operators just want to keep blowing it up!

Right now, Nelson Aggregate is seeking approval to increase the size of their quarry on the escarpment on Mt. Nemo, near Burlington, by 124 acres. That’s almost as big as 100 football fields.

Local residents are worried about the impacts of the quarry, and they are asking people to write to the Niagara Escarpment Commission to voice their opposition to the project.

You have until April 26, 2021 to send in your comments. Find how to do that here.

Location of the two proposed open-pit quarries on the Burlington Escarpment

This application was fought aggressively by the folks in Burlington and the surrounding area when it was first proposed more than a decade ago. And in 2012, the application was rejected due to the impacts on wildlife and the local water supply.

The project resurfaced a little while back, right around the time that the province gutted the Endangered Species Act and hosted an Aggregates Summit aimed at helping gravel pit and quarry operators do more of what they do best – blast giant holes in the ground.

Nelson aggregates is promising that this project is much better than the previous plan was. But local residents are unconvinced and remain concerned about impacts on:

  • the natural environment in north Burlington, including wildlife, streams and woodlands
  • the quantity and quality of well water and on the streams and wetlands served by the headwaters in Mount Nemo that flow down to Lake Ontario
  • the livability and prosperity of the community that would be impacted if this industrial quarrying operation be permitted.

Yes, there is a need for aggregates to build roads, bridges and buildings. But Mt Nemo, on the Escarpment, is no place for these kinds of activities.

Hawk flying Mt. Nemo
A hawk in flight as seen from Mt. Nemo. Photo by Julian Makos via Flickr Creative Commons

The project is at a critical point, and the people in Burlington need your help. Nelson Aggregate needs an amendment to the Niagara Escarpment Plan to get approval for its application to increase their open-pit mining operation by a massive 124 acres on Burlington’s Mt. Nemo, on the Niagara Escarpment.

The Niagara Escarpment Commission will accept your comments only until April 26, 2021.

Help out the good people working to conserve Burlington’s natural environment. Send in your comment today:

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