by Phil Gravelle
ROCKWOOD – Drivers on Highway 7 east of Rockwood could be hit by flying boulders if the “hidden quarry” is allowed to proceed, according to the Concerned Residents Coalition (CRC).
The group set up signs on March 18 warning of a “future flyrock danger zone” and called on Ontario to enact a 500-metre blasting exclusion zone to protect residents and drivers. It’s the latest tactic in an ongoing struggle with pit proponent James Dick Construction Ltd. (JDCL).
Company vice president Greg Sweetnam strongly denies the CRC’s claim and accuses the group of “fundraising by terror”.
“We’d be out of business if we had flyrock coming out of that quarry,” said Sweetnam. “All of the blasts are designed so that we do not have flyrock.”
To dramatize their point, CRC members put a car on display at a home across the road, just 75 metres from the proposed quarry, staged with a limestone boulder through the windshield.
“A tragic event like this can be prevented if John Yakabuski, minister of natural resources and forestry, decrees a flyrock exclusion zone of at least 500 metres on the proposed hidden quarry, and all aggregate sites in Ontario,” said Harry Wilson, a member of the CRC board.
“Flyrock fragments propelled at up
to 600 kilometres per hour by explosive detonations have caused property damage, personal injury and deaths around the globe… more.