Is this the right location for another quarry?
The current quarry‘s licence allows extraction of up to half a million tonnes of aggregate per year. If licensed, the proposed Melrose Quarry would be permitted to extract the same amount of aggregate. These two licences could be combined to extract up to one million tonnes of aggregate per year. This ARA quarry license application has been referred to LPAT for review (formerly OMB).
Water – What effect on local streams? What effect on nearby dug and drilled wells? A quarry needs to be kept dry to be operational. When a quarry operator digs below the water table (intersects the aquifer) groundwater drains into the quarry. This water, along with precipitation, must be pumped out. Over time, there is a risk that this pumping will reduce the amount of groundwater in the aquifer. Long’s Quarry appears to be authorized to pump up to 3 million litres per day for 60 days (spring thaw/melt/storm) and up to 1.3 million litres for the balance of the year. Water is a shared resource. Homes and farms in the area rely on one single aquifer for their water needs. There is no alternate water supply.
Cropland – Land currently producing crops will be lost if the proposed Melrose Quarry is developed.
Noise and Vibration – Explosives are used to break up the limestone in Long’s Quarry to allow easier removal of aggregate. This activity has resulted in numerous complaints to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and to the township from surrounding property owners. Local home owners have reported cracks in their foundations. Additional blasting from a second quarry has the potential to affect additional properties.
Traffic – In 2010, 96 gravel trucks per day were counted using the Quarry. A traffic study completed in 2011 addressed the number of trucks moving in and out of the Long’s Quarry. It did not consider any potential impacts of a second quarry on local traffic. The main “haul route” for the Long’s Quarry and the proposed Melrose Quarry passes directly by Tyendinaga Public School. The potential for increased truck traffic through the school zone raises safety concerns.
Road Maintenance – Township taxpayers pay to repair or replace local roads. The province places a levy of six cents on each tonne of aggregate removed from the quarry. This levy will increase to 18 cents per tonne. The Long’s Quarry currently pays the township a levy of about $12,000 per year. The upcoming increase, will change the levy to about $36,000 per year. A kilometer of road costs about $250,000 to replace.