With the proposed Hidden Quarry property zoned Greenlands, why does JDCL still want to destroy this environmentally sensitive land?

JDCL argues that aggregate supply is paramount, that a ‘close to market’ source trumps all concerns, and that they will rehabilitate the site when extraction is complete.  Their rehabilitation plan attempts to show that the effects of mining will not be detrimental to the environment.  The plan provides for some tree planting, but the significant result will be two lakes deep in the bedrock in what is now a valuable water recharge area in the Paris Galt Moraine which produces clear, cold water an increasingly rare commodity in southern Ontario.  The fact that excavation would break into the ground water system means that the new lakes would be ‘surface water’ and that the local ‘groundwater’ system would be permanently subject to surface water pollutants.

What is the difference between ‘Greenlands’ and ‘Greenbelt’?

Greenlands is the term used in Wellington County’s Official Plan (and Ontario planning in general) to define and identify woodland areas including both old growth forest and plantations.

The Greenbelt is a permanently protected area of green space, farmland, forests, wetlands, and watersheds, surrounding a significant portion of Canada’s most populated and fastest-growing area—the Golden Horseshoe.  Created by legislation passed by the Government of Ontario in 2005, the Greenbelt is considered a major step in the prevention of urban development and sprawl on environmentally sensitive land in the province. At over 1.8 million acres (7300 km²), the Greenbelt is one of the largest and most successful greenbelts in the world.

​​What will happen to the quarry site when it’s mined out?

​​It could become a bigger quarry if surrounding properties are bought up by the aggregate industry which commonly happens. It is very difficult to sell a property adjacent to a quarry unless it is sold well below market value. Other aggregate sites in the province have been identified for possible use in aggregate recycling operations and/or landfill.  These are possible future uses for the Hidden Quarry that may become the focus of future land use debate should applications for such uses be made. James Dick Construction Ltd. (JDCL) suggests that in 20 years or so the water-filled pits will continue to exist as lakes–Rockwood Conservation Area version 2 perhaps.

​Should I be concerned about pollution from the quarry?

​​Definitely. There are risks of contamination of the surface water flowing through the site into the Byrdson Creek-Blue Springs Creek-Eramosa River systems–all part of the Grand River watershed–and similar contamination of the groundwater aquifer that feeds downstream wells,  There is real uncertainty about the extent to which blasting will impact the aquifer that feeds the Rockwood number 4 well.  In spite of assurances to the contrary, we believe that dust arising from crushing and loading operations as well as heavy truck traffic into and out of the site will be emitted as air pollution.