CRC was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation, known as CRC Rockwood Inc., on June 27 2014. The corporation has a Board of Governors currently consisting of thirteen members of the community. The officers of the corporation are: Co-Chairs: Dr. Alex Kanarek, William Hill; President: Doug Tripp; Vice-President: Perry Groskopf; Secretary: Stephanie De Grandis; Treasurer: Natalie Jaroszewski.
CRC was created by and is made up of residents of Rockwood and the surrounding area. It was formed in 2013 in a neighbour’s kitchen by a dozen residents concerned about the Hidden Quarry application and since then it has grown to more than 1200 registered supporters in Guelph-Eramosa Township, Milton (Nassagaweya), Acton and beyond. CRC is the only Party at the OMB Hearing which represents all residents surrounding the proposed quarry site. Municipal boundary lines mean that objecting municipalities and regions must address issues related specifically to their territory, although many issues do inevitably overlap.
After considerable study, CRC opposes the development of this quarry. It acknowledges that the Province of Ontario needs supplies of reasonably priced aggregates to support development of infrastructure, housing, buildings and other construction needs BUT not, as provincial legislation and policy indicate, at any cost. Hence CRC’s mission regarding the Hidden Quarry application, is to ensure, with reference to provincial and County policies, that no unacceptable negative impacts on the environment, health and safety, water quality and quantity, residences and other structures, community economy, private property values, and general quality of life in Guelph-Eramosa Township and Halton Region occur as a result of the operation of this quarry. After three years of intensive study, CRC is unable to conceive of conditions that would prevent some or all of these factors being significantly impacted in a negative way, and therefore we oppose the development of this quarry.
CRC has thoroughly and critically assessed the reports submitted by the applicant in support of the application as well as those submitted by commenting agencies and peer reviewers. We have retained the services of independent experts to assess a number of important issues and have filed reports and made presentations to Councils for Wellington County, Grand River Conservation Authority, Guelph Eramosa Township, Halton Region, Milton and Halton Hills. We have substantive concerns about:
Ground and surface water in the aquifer and the surface stream that flow through the site, and both upstream and downstream wells, as well as Rockwood’s municipal wells;
The natural environment including species at risk with on-site or nearby habitat, and a vibrant brook trout habitat in the cold-water stream into which surface water from the site flows;
The unprecedented below water blasting in a fragile, karst geology proposed by the applicant and what we have determined to be unacceptable ground vibration and the risk of fly-rock ejection on to the abutting Highway 7 and nearby buildings;
Impacts on many cultural heritage buildings within 1000 metres from blasting vibration;
Air quality degradation due to dust from aggregate crushing on site and truck traffic;
Traffic impact on 6th Line Eramosa, Highway 7 to the east of the site through downtown Acton, and Regional Road 25 along the applicant’s proposed haul route, and quite possibly elsewhere including the Nassagaweya Lines to the south and Highway 7 west through Rockwood should markets arise in the future to the west (the Highway 7 project between Guelph and Kitchener being a case in point);
Noise from blasting, crushing, sorting and loading, and haulage;
Impacts of the foregoing factors on adjacent agricultural operations which include livestock, horse, crop and mushroom growing operations;
Visual impact as the current woodlot is replaced by a 30-metre deep pit and perimeters are lined with earth berms, and the heritage landscape on 6th Line is transformed into a heavy industrial environment;
Economic impact on Guelph-Eramosa Township and Halton Region due to expected losses in property values and concomitant loss of tax assessment, costs for road maintenance and emergency services, and;
Social impacts related to quality of life and the attractiveness of this region to business and commerce.
CRC has gained status as a party to the case, alongside Halton Hills and Halton Region. CRC has retained legal counsel, Mr. Chris Barnett of DLA Piper in Toronto. Mr. Barnett has significant experience in municipal law, including aggregate cases and OMB hearings, and represented the Town of Caledon in the successful fight against the James Dick Construction Ltd. Rockfort Quarry application. CRC has identified potential expert witnesses to testify on our behalf, and is actively raising funds to cover legal and expert witness costs.
Can we win at the OMB and what are the odds of success in preventing the Hidden Quarry from proceeding?
Yes and the odds are pretty good. There are solid legal arguments against it, and a huge ground swell of opposition from area residents and politicians alike. That is because of the many problems it will cause including potential drinking water, air and noise pollution, truck traffic hazards, property devaluation, blasting dangers, and unnecessary environmental degradation.nCRC has hired one of if not the best legal team in Ontario to present its case. It’s led by Mr. Chris Barnett of DLA Piper in Toronto who represented the Town of Caledon in the successful OMB case against the James Dick Construction Ltd. (JDCL) Rockfort Quarry application in Caledon.nIn addition to CRC’s legal fight against it, the Guelph Eramosa Township (GET) Council has hired an independent legal team to fight it. And on top of that Halton Region has its legal team fighting it too.nWe have the best interests of our community at heart while James Dick is motivated by profit. With so many sound reasons for being against it, it is reasonable to be optimistic that the OMB will also recognize that this quarry is bad for the area and turn it down.
CRC will be a Party at the OMB and plans to provide testimony to the new OMB Hearing on a number of critical issues related to potential negative impacts were the quarry to be approved. Our choices will be those for which our testimony will be the most effective and manageable. In preparing for the 2016 OMB Hearing (now postponed), our experts covered Hydrology, Hydrogeology, Blasting, Planning and Aquatic Ecology.
CRC raises funds in a variety ways, and when possible with fun! Events have included golf tournaments, garage sales, teas, a gala 2016 event (An Intimate Evening with the Nylons), bike and hike events, participation in the community’s Rockwood Mushroom Fest, and others. By means of a direct telephone call campaign and our general communications, we invite community residents to support us financially with monthly or one-time donations that are within their means. We also have paypal activated on the CRC website for credit card donations. We are gratified that there are a few benefactors who have continued to support CRC with sizeable donations, and we continue to seek out large gifts by presenting what we think is a compelling case for support.
It is located at the corner of Highway 7 and 6th Line Eramosa, just east of Rockwood and west of Acton. It is only one kilometre from the southern neighbourhoods of Rockwood as the crow flies, and as little as 165 m from homes and buildings on Eramosa 6th and 7th Lines and those at the north end of Nassagaweya 5th line! Nearly half the population of Rockwood lives within 2 kilometers of the site.
CRC is not yet a registered charity; therefore donations are not tax deductible. Charitable status is being investigated since CRC is studying serious environmental issues; however it is a lengthy, complicated process with no guarantee that we would be granted charitable status.