FAQ

Noise

The is: 90% of fly rock incidents are unexplainable

In spite of the best efforts of blasting contractors, unpredictable flyrock occurs as a result of irregularities in the rock geology such as seams, fissures, and voids.  The karst geology at the HQ site is characterized by such features.

Testimony to MOE regarding two flyrock incidents at the Pakenham Quarry near Arnprior Ontario on July 20 and 23, 2009 demonstrated that even competent, experienced contractors are unable to avoid the possibility of flyrock due to geological irregularities:

  • “Any experienced blaster would have had the same fly rock incident take place.”
  • “There is no technology available to identify anomalies in rock such as mud seams or voids.”
  • “90% of fly rock incidents are unexplainable.”

Mr. Morin, of JDCL’s blasting consultant Explotech, advised “. . .  that the hazard zone be increased to 500 m when firing any future blasts in this quarry.”

 

Numerous jurisdictions such as Nova Scotia, Texas, Australia, and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization set minimum requirements of 400 to 800m or more for setbacks for surface blasting. Ontario has no minimum requirement.

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The is: Risk = probability x consequences

Sweetnam implies that the risk of a flyrock incident is effectively zero. But data from the international blasting contractor, Dyno Nobel, indicates that the probability of flyrock is about 0.5%, low but not zero.

But risk is probability x consequences and the consequences are often catastrophic. Responsible quarry operators acknowledge that the only protection from flyrock is to provide safe setback from the blasting site to ensure that no flyrock damage or injury occurs, and there are at least two methods used internationally to calculate a safe setback.

JDCL made a faulty calculation using one of these methods, and defined  a setback determined that is  one-quarter of what it should be if the method had been properly applied.

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The is: ‘Underwater blasting’ is a complete misrepresentation of the proposed blasting method.

JDCL is not planning to do underwater blasting “at the bottom of a gravel pit”, rather would blast into a water-filled pit from the excavation face. This doesn’t prevent flyrock due to “cratering” or “rifling” from the explosive-filled boreholes drilled on dry land.

It is not underwater blasting. It is blasting into water—a big difference!

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​​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.

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​​Yes, and the closer you live to the quarry the more noise you will hear. Residents in the southern neighbourhoods of Rockwood, expecially those on high ground, as well as those on Eramosa 6th and 7th Lines and along the northern reaches of Nassagaweya 5th and 6th Lines will be most affected. Regular blasting, and ongoing rock crushing, heavy equipment, warning beepers, and idling trucks will all contibute. The quarry would operate from 6am to 6pm, 6 days a week throughout the year.  On top of that, you would feel the vibrations from blasting up to a minimum of 2 kilometres from the site.  Of course, this noise is supplemental to the current sound from the busy highway.

Category: Noise
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