In a gravel pit only surface gravel deposits are removed. They are usually only open for a few years. The top soil is preserved and after the gravel is removed the top soil is replaced for farming. A quarry strips away all the top soil and gravel down to bed rock then blasts into the bedrock to remove stone which is crushed and usually trucked away for a full range of construction use from roads to buildings. The Hidden Quarry proposes to blast 100 feet into the water table over a 60 acre area. It will operate for at least 20 years and maybe much longer, leaving two small lakes. The property will no longer be available for agriculture. It may also expand into neighbouring properties.
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.
Aggregate dust is one of the threats to nearby agricultural operations, including cash and forage crops, a mushroom farm, and others. There is research that has shown that silica dust issuing from aggregate sites significantly reduces plant growth rates and coats crops like hay seriously affecting its value/use as fodder. The possible contamination of downstream surface and groundwater is a second issue that may have consequences for agricultural operations. Horse and livestock operations will also be affected by noise and vibration. Horse trainers have spoken at CRC meetings about the risks involved when standard-bred horses are spooked by noise and vibration resulting from blasts.