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Science & NatureEnvironmentCavanagh quarry seeks to undo environmental protections

Cavanagh quarry seeks to undo environmental protections

Photo: P199 – CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikipedia

Submitted by Friends of Burnt Lands

Thomas Cavanagh Construction has applied to the City of Ottawa to reverse the existing EP3 environmental protection of 18 hectares of land immediately bordering Burnt Lands Provincial Park – a Nature Reserve class park at the intersection of March Road and Burnt Lands Road. The application seeks to expand the current aggregate quarry permit with the Government of Ontario for removing limestone aggregate through blasting, crushing, and other processing including significant water extraction from aquifers.

“Friends of Burnt Lands” – concerned citizens of Ottawa and Mississippi Mills – have asked the City of Ottawa and Ontario government to reject the application. There is insufficient justification in the application to reverse the existing EP3 zoning / environmental protections.

Specifically, the land is part of the Burnt Lands Alvar[1] and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources designated Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI) due to the unique flora & fauna supported. The protections are appropriate for land immediately adjacent to a Nature Reserve class provincial park. Proposed quarry operations plan to have significant water draw from local ground supply[2] with impacts to the nearby creek and local residential wells.

There are multiple aggregate quarries in the area[3] and studies in Ontario suggest supply outpaces demand by as much as 13x[4]. Reversing environmental protections should warrant justification well beyond basic commercial interests.

If you share the concerns expressed here, you are encouraged to contact your city councillor , the City of Ottawa’s Planning Department and your MPP Marrilee Fullerton. To learn more about the situation and how to engage in the City of Ottawa & Province about your perspective, join the conversation with the Friends of Burnt Lands (https://www.facebook.com/groups/friendsofburntlands).

Examples of natural biodiversity at stake include:

Yellow Lady’s-slipper orchid Source: https://mvfn.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Burnt-Lands-Alvar.pdf
Blue-spotted Salamander Source: https://mvfn.ca/salamanders-unseen-unheard-but-not-unimportant-presented-by-fred-schuelermike-oldham-bishops-mills-natural-history-centre/

[1] https://mvfn.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Burnt-Lands-Alvar.pdf

[2] Hydrogeological study prepared by Golder for the applicant and on file for the application

[3] MNDMNRF Pits and Quarries Online map: https://www.lioapplications.lrc.gov.on.ca/Pits_And_Quarries/index.html?viewer=Pits_and_Quarries.Pits_and_Quarries&locale=en-CA

[4] Reform Gravel Mining Coalition Feb-2022 FAQ: https://assets.nationbuilder.com/themes/61d345a84445ea3165f59cc2/attachments/original/1645565719/RGMC_FAQ-long_final_22FEB22.pdf

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