Photo: Billion-tonne mega-quarry to 'improve' the local environment

The proposed mega-quarry would cover 2,000 acres and sink to a depth of 200 feet (Credit: jurvetson via Flickr).

By John Werring, Aquatic Habitat Specialist

Imagine digging a hole in your backyard deeper than Niagara Falls (and twice as wide). Heck... imagine having a backyard that big!

Now imagine a big hose that pumps 600 million litres of groundwater (the equivalent of around 2,000 large tanker trucks) out of the big hole each day and diverts it away from your property. Water that can be used to grow crops and feed local streams.

While the mind boggles at the opportunity for extreme recreation (imagine the waterslide!), it is obvious that an endeavor at this scale would have potentially devastating impacts on your neighbourhood.

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Unfortunately for folks living in Melancthon Township, a rural community an hour-and-a-half drive northwest of Toronto, a proposal for just such a project to be situated in their backyard (minus the waterslide) is winding its way through the provincial permitting process.

In what is being billed as one of the largest aggregate quarry applications in Ontario's history, a U.S.-based hedge fund company, the Highland Companies, has filed an application with Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources for a limestone quarry near Melancthon. The proposed quarry would encompass 937 hectares (2,000 acres) and is estimated to contain 1 billion metric tonnes of Amabel dolostone to a depth of around 58 metres (200 feet!) below the water table. Of course, the company wants to dig it all up.

In reaction, local farmers, ranchers, and First Nations groups have begun organizing to show their opposition to the mega-quarry in their backyard. They held a protest at Queens Park in Toronto recently and then embarked on a 115-kilometre trek to a potato farm near the proposed mine site. The groups are concerned that the mine would imperil the region's water supply and destroy farmland. And so am I.

This was underscored when I read the truly remarkable environmental impact assessment prepared by the company's consultants. Remarkable in that it claims the proposed mining operation will have "no negative impacts" on things like water resources, and will ultimately improve the "diversity, connectivity and function" of the local environment.

In essence, the consultants contend that blasting a billion tonnes of rock from a pit deeper than Niagara Falls that guzzles 600 million litres of groundwater each day will improve the local environment. I beg to differ on that.

In response, I wrote this letter of objection to the Ministry of Natural Resources and the company, outlining a few of our concerns.

Clearly this sort of project must face much greater scrutiny and deserves the rigour of a full environmental assessment, as industrial projects of this scale should always be subject to.

May 4, 2011

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Jul 27, 2013
5:48 PM

Is there some balance between development such as a quarry and while taking into consideration the environment?? I want to protect our drinking water but I also enjoy concrete for building and safe highways for driving, where do we draw the line? Is there is a more sustainable way to develop quarries?

Oct 18, 2012
12:21 PM

Remember: If it can't be grown it must be mined.

If every mining project in the world was rejected, mankind would be unable to survive. When people just have a knee-jerk "NO'' reaction to mining, I wonder what kind of civilisation they want to have.

Aug 23, 2012
8:17 PM

How astonishing that this so called mega destruction quarry is being brought forward on our Traditional Mohawk Territory when the Mohawk Traditional people have never been consulted ever. An awarness ride on horsback by 25 First Nations peoples across the lands to the quarry headed by myself David Grey Eagle and a rancher who also felt the same. We rode in full regalia to the quarry lands and raised the Mohawk Wampum flag the Unity flag and for the people of Ontario the Canadian flag. Brothers and Sisters came together to voice in peacefull protest our outrage against this breach of our Treaty and the breach of democracy.and for the fact that water is life and we will not sit idly by while she is destroyed and poisioned. The Mohawk Traditional people will not stand by while our Treaty lands are being invaded and destroyed. All the farmers and ranchers need to remember whose lands they really are and remember who was there first. The next ceremony is being planned and we will be raising the Mohawk Unity Warrior Flagg to let everyone know that we will not allow this destruction on our lands to go any farther. We are the Rainbow Warriors.

Jul 14, 2012
10:28 PM

It’s amazing with all the objections to this proposal that it would continue. It doesn’t matter about farm land, or water just the almighty dollar. In the end who really pays for this not the company they profit. Even an Environmental Assessment will never uncover all the probable problems that can be encountered. There will never be anyway of knowing until it’s done and then it’s too late. How many more people will have to pay the price for profit. The Government may not think too much about the quality of life, but this community does, and a lot of people in this country including me. The Government has to take a stand on behalf of the people and not the Corporations. This is a real threat to water, farming land, and the very air we breath.

Mar 31, 2012
6:04 AM

Giegerich, you obviously have quarry expertise although you do not have all the info re: this particular quarry (10 milion tonnes annually, 250' deep, pumping 600 million litres of water/day). It would be great to converse with you via

Jan 21, 2012
2:50 PM

This is not just farming area that will be affected by the "Mega Quarry" the aquafer doesn't stop at the edge of Melancton, the transporting 24/7 isn't going to exhaust/polute just that township, loss of food producing land can't be reversed and I beleive the total land they own exceeds 9000 acres but the application for now is 2600 acres, don't forget the 52 tons of explosives per day doesn't stop its downward fractures at just the limestone, and finally they are allowed to use water and change the topography at a level, we the people they promised to protect, would all be up for huge fines or charges as they deem fit.
As you can tell it amazes me that our governments could allow anything this catastrophic on the grounds that there are no laws to stop whatever you would consider the most devestating assault to be on our natural resources.

Jan 20, 2012
8:52 AM

i agree daniel. yes indeed.

Jan 17, 2012
9:47 AM

wow,this makes me relize how big of a deal this is and how badly it will affect us..very sad.

Dec 16, 2011
1:02 PM

Ok so this is what really scares me you get a greedy corporation (not a surprise right). Started by buying the land for farming. We all knew that was BS. And next the aggregate. And yeah they can make money off that but I feel the biggest issue will be when all that aggregate is gone and the 600 million L of water that has to get pumped out. (going on other people's facts) Then the corporation decided to stop pumping or there pump stops pumping and then what are they left with, a huge resources of water, and I honestly wouldn't be surprised if the Canadian government let them sell it. I might be talking worst case, but I can see it happening, got to stay a step ahead. And what is with it being out of the local governments hands?

I've been out of Canada for like 7 years, moving back this month. Do any of the government leaders have a spine? Doesn't look like it.

Nov 25, 2011
4:26 PM

Sadly most of us learn about these assaults on our environment after it’s too late to write a formal protest as you have John. Hopefully the environmental review won by letters like yours will prevent this catastrophe from ever happening. It’s interesting to note that it was apparently understood the original intent behind the purchase was for farming purposes.

If the quarry goes forward, the aggregate will be used to destroy yet more of the environment. There really is no plus side to this proposal anyway you look at it.

Nov 09, 2011
4:09 AM

i think that the project is a great way to help the enviroment and prevent more pollution. and on top of that we are still getting many usefull materials such as riprap and sand. GO THE DAVID SUZUKI FOUNDATION !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oct 12, 2011
9:56 AM

If americans want to dig a big hole in Ontario, then that's what they'll do. This project started with lies and money, and so far it's a strategy that works well. How those guys must be licking their chops at the sight of our beautiful country when theirs is such a mess.

Pierre Burton described us as a "gentle people", and it looks like we're going to get bulldozed.

"Ontario, Theirs To Ravage" — our new tourist slogan.

Oct 05, 2011
8:34 AM

IF people would read Mr Suzuki's message and take the time to understand his message more clearly, you can see that all he is asking for is that the project undergo the required level of scrutiny, to this we should all agree. Having worked all over the world in mining for a quarter century I have seen good projects and bad projects, but at the end of the day, Suzuki is correct and we should not consider any other approach than to carry out the due diligence in a transparent and logical manner.

Many mining projects can be nightmares to manage if they are not planned and executed in the correct manner, especially when wet chemical processing is involved to extract an element, thus creating millions of tonnes of waste and other byproducts, some of which are indeed bad for the environment. Look at Sudbury region and the impact that reckless mining has had on this region of Ontario. Let me be VERY clear, This is not the case with Limestone mining, and especially for aggregates.

Limestone is a sedimentary rock, ~95% of which is calcium carbonate (CaCO3), so it is comprised mainly of Calcium, carbon and oxygen, this is not an environmental hazard based on the rock chemistry. If it was hazardous, people would not be living on top of it and people would certainly not be drinking the water which is cleaned through the subterranean layers of this stone, eventually ending up in our bath water or drinking glass.

If Ontario’s people are concerned about water, they should be MUCH more concerned with the loss of the great lakes. Bodies of water that at one time were pristine and the pride of North America. Industries from both the US and Canada have not been held accountable or regulated properly over the years and today we have lakes such as Erie that have areas that are so toxic there is no creature capable of sustaining itself, cancer rates around all the southern lakes is on the rise, water with turbidity levels too high and with levels of toxins that are off the charts in some areas. If you wish to question someone, question the Canadian government on their real level of commitment and expertise to take the lakes back to their once natural condition.

Anyway, on the quarry issue, In the actual lime stone there are often trace elements also found that make up the remaining 5% such as silica (SiO2), iron (Fe2O3), Manganese. If the stone is more dolomitic (CaCO3.MGCO3) is will contain Magnesium carbonate.

In Short If anyone cares to admit it or not, we LOVE this material. It is acid neutralizing, used in agriculture for growing the food found on our tables, ground up in its raw state it can be used to clean the environment, not pollute. Limestone ground to required size is used in FGD (Flue Gas Treatment) which is another name for scrubbing of toxins from factories such as coal fired plants, steel mills, etc… it is also great for construction of roads, houses, and is often used as a filler in carpets (yes the ones in your homes), roofing tiles (the chips found on the shingles of most Canadian homes), calcium supplements that people eat and used for livestock (chickens are fed limestone products to keep egg shells thick and healthy). Limestone and lime, a product of limestone, is often used by mining companies to CLEAN UP their operations and TREAT their nasty water (effluent) to bring the discharge back to a cleaner state that resembles a more natural condition, where it can ultimately be re-injected back into local water ways.

Let face it, Industry in general is not going away, look at the state of the world today, the new global economic climate is creating a very competitive world. Canadians need to sharpen their business approach and start using more of the great natural resources at home, before becoming slave to foreign imports and foreign policy. So what if the Americans own this project, its’ still Canadian and they will still have to dance to our music. No matter how many people have the “not in my backyard” approach one day we are going need this quarry, best we do it on our terms, educate ourselves, stay informed and stop reacting.

On Jobs — This is an obviously positive impact on the local communities. Local people obtain wealth and the taxes help improve infrastructure, which if managed appropriately, generates additional possibilities for income, attracting people and businesses to the area. Think nice parks, more tourism from the folks headed north each year, better hospitals, better doctors and dentists, better teachers, etc..

On the mining process — Note that one does not take a greenfield project one day and turn it into a mega quarry on day two. It is a VERY long process, one which when managed in a sustainable and environmentally sound manner, will never have any impact on the surrounding region, other than positively. Aggregate mining is a slow process, it starts in a small region of the property and begins with the removal of topsoil. The topsoil is stockpiled and used later for reclamation of any areas that can be revegetated (waste dumps, backfilled pits). Any overburden of course needs to be dumped, but this can be done in a manner that creates aesthetic berms to keep noise away from communities, and when placed on dumps, placed at slope angles to resemble the surrounding terrain, thus once re-vegetated, will be impossible to discern from the original landscape.

I am not familiar with this project feasibility, but lets assume that at full capacity is it moving 6 million metric tonnes per year of total material at a strip ratio of (Waste:Ore) of 0.5 . This translates into 4 million tonnes of aggregate which would be sold to customers and suppliers in the region. Remember, this is a bulk commodity, not a gold mine, so what ever is mined is usually sold, and this means that there are limits to how much one can move off the project. Logistics is the bottleneck, and logistics costs will limit how much and how far the material can be delivered. 4 million tonnes would require trucks to be leaving the site at a rate of close to 10 x 50T trucks per hour, this is manageable, any more could be tricky.

Okay, so now that have a mining rate, how big will the mega quarry be in five years. Lets say its density is 2.6 m3/metric tonne, this means that each year, 2.3 million cubic meters will need to be mined. Mining will most likely be along a strike length that best suits the geology and blending requirements, at a width that will provide safe operations and allow multiple levels to be opened for good stone exposure (this allows the operations to react to customer requests for particular stone quality, if it exists). If we assume an operational mining width of 400m (a first guess on my part), mining bench heights of 10m per bench (for safety purposes mined on 5m levels with a final bench height of 10m at the edges), opened to 30m below surface for good stone exposure, this translates into an annual progression of 200m/yr in the horizontal for the first 3 years of development. Lets then assume that after three years we have a quarry that is 600m in length, 400m in width and 30m deep. That’s not exactly mega, at least not yet… Here is where it gets both interesting and complicated. The quarry will reach a point where it will be wide enough and then possible to ramp down at depth. If the final depth can be reached (the bottom of the stone bed), the backfilling of the quarry can begin. Backfilling is a good thing, it reduces the amount of material dumping/filling on surface, thus reducing reclamation costs of dumps, it helps to raise the water table and reduce the pumping rates, and by filling in behind the mining, most of the exhausted quarry can be returned to farmland at some future time. If managed appropriately, there would never be any mega quarry, it would only ever be as big as the sustainable size required to supply stone. All of this of course, subject to a feasibility study.

As for water, well the water needs to be pumped, there is no way around this. The water will be clean and should be used to supply the local community or as far as cost effectively feasible. Remaining water could be sent to natural lake area, river, or even a man made reservoir. The hydrological study for the project will reveal a lot of information and may create other opportunities. Perhaps the ground water is part of a massive underground system that is flowing away from the project site, this water could then be re-injected downstream.

On processing, this is straight forward. The rock is first scalped to remove fines, and the oversize is crushed in a close circuit to generate select piles of varying stone size. This can be further controlled by stockpiling if quality, color, strength, abrasiveness is applied as additional constraints. In the end, all one ends up with are a series of piles that are then loaded directly according to customer contracts.

There are limestone quarries ALL over the world that are operating literally in the back yards of communities, and when managed responsibly and transparently, it simply works. If you have time, look on Google earth at Germany, you can see in the Wulfrath region some good examples of how the Germans are able to manage this issue with NO impact on the environment. Note that we are talking limestone quarry operations here. If you start looking at the coal strip mining near Dusseldorf, this is a whole different type of mining, but still managed best in class by the Germans.

Lets not point fingers before we explore this in a positive and informed manner. (when we point one finger, three are pointing back at us)

Sep 15, 2011
5:19 PM

We have a farm in Creemore and are following the news in our local paper. We would like to go to the dinner this weekend but can't find the website to get tickets…help

Aug 29, 2011
9:43 AM

If you really want to stop this thing there is only ONE way to beat the mining/quarries act, BLOCKADE IT. The only mines to be stopped in ontario were blockaded. DO IT.

Aug 29, 2011
6:37 AM

I totally agree with what Katherine had to say. This is our country! I dont really think that any U.S based company should have a right to demolish our beautiful country, whether it be Ontario or any other province. That is like saying Heh! weCanadawant to bulldoze all your orange crops in Florida so that we can build 200 hockey rinks. Do you think that the Americans would roll over and do nothing like they expect us to do! Like I said, this is our country, youve exploited all your own resources, so now you expect to exploit ours too!Too many Americans just think that Canada is theirs to do as they feel fit.

Aug 04, 2011
12:03 PM

Any international project that is financed by the crown corporation, Export Development Canada requires a thorough environment assessment. I find it interesting that the government doesn’t have the same policies in place for projects happening here at home in Canada.

Aug 02, 2011
5:51 PM

This should become an international issue.

Jul 18, 2011
12:41 PM

2000 Acres! 200 feet deep! How can this NOT have an environmental impact? This is Canada folks, this cannot happen. We must be diligent about this and not allow this foreign invasion to take place. We need to protect our environment the way we protect our heritage as Canadians. Open pit mining in any form is disastrous. One just needs to search in his/her favorite search engine to see the resulting devastation it has already caused around our great country and other parts of the world.

Jul 18, 2011
7:38 AM

I think this is horrible. Have the company dig this hole in their own back yard, not ours. The noise the pollution and all the ground disruption will affect those peoples lives for a long time. Fight like crazy protest and get everyone you can get to help. just say no……..

Jul 13, 2011
5:00 PM

Agree totally with Katherine but you know what — don’t be afraid to provide your name. Comments are always taken more seriously (in my opinion) if a person provides their complete name. More credibilty.

Jul 11, 2011
2:52 PM

even though there is nothing to a hole I object to this one!

Jul 08, 2011
11:14 AM

Objection against the proposal is gaining steam. The idea that an American company can buy up land here in beautiful Ontario and convert it into something that is detrimental to our people and environment makes me so mad I can barely breath. People everywhere need to stand up and stop this. I don’t know what gives this company the right— whatever regulation that might be needs to be changed. This is our province, our water, or air and our home, and we’re not going to stand for it. GET OUT OF OUR ONTARIO!!!!!

Jul 07, 2011
7:43 PM

This is frustrating, but what is even more frustrating is the amount of ‘greenwashing’ that is included in the Highland Companies’ website. Lots of discussion on ‘green’ things being explored or assessed previously with no mention of actual outcomes or further involvement.

I cannot believe corporations still thiinks the public buys this. Although i guess really only government seems to have to buy into it in Canada.


Jul 07, 2011
10:27 AM

Here’s a web petition going around trying to stop this.

Jun 27, 2011
6:22 PM

How far along the process is this and can we as concerned citizens do anything to prevent this? Is there anything in circulation that we can sign?

Jun 27, 2011
9:00 AM

I am totally appalled at the lack of leadership in the province to prevent such a massive and unspeakable assault on a pristine environment. When will these supposed leaders ever really learn that such projects are no longer worthy of our support in this century — it’s not about jobs and money anymore — this is the typical short-sighted idea based solely on greed, at the expense of our future.

We cannot let this happen!

Jun 15, 2011
6:45 PM

The idea is almost crazy. I think that they should not get away with disturbing an entire water system and so many people without a fight. It’s still really sad that if no one said anything, they would probably be able to do anything they wanted! :(

Jun 14, 2011
8:56 AM


Jun 01, 2011
5:00 PM

I wrote this on TreeHugger about how we have to get to the root of the problem across the country, our insatiable demand for aggregate.

May 31, 2011
3:10 AM

Please watch/share/post/tweet this short youtube video that tells the local’s side of the story, in their words.

Please visit for more info on how you can help stop development that what would be devastating for the local community, Ontario’s water and an important source of local food production for the GTA.

May 20, 2011
9:58 AM

I must reiterate what S. Jackson has posted, Thank you David Suzuki Foundation for your help. Although I do not live in Melancthon Township, I do live less than 15 minutes away from the proposed quarry. I have always felt strongly against this insane attempt to destroy our environment and I am so proud and appreciative of the David Suzuki Foundation featuring this on their site and writing a letter of objection. We need all of the help we can get, especially when fighting against a large company that could care less about the environment, habitats and communities they are destroying.

This is ridiculous, if companies are allowed to win battles such as this one, I fear there will be little hope for our Earth.

May 11, 2011
12:59 PM

thank you David Suzuki Foundation for bringing this issue to a wider audience. We who live in Dufferin County (that’s where Melancthon Township is) have been trying to get folks to pay attention to this for almost three years now! What they can’t see, they think, won’t hurt them -but this one will: the Highland Companies, a front for a Boston Hedge Fund, has proposed a quarry below one of the most important water recharge areas in Ontario and thousands upon thousands of Ontarians rely on the water the forms up there. You may recall a disaster that occured in the small Ontario town of Walkerton — people died there due to water contamination. Our government is supposed to protect it’s citizens, not Billion Dollar Bankers from Boston who are only here for one thing: profit. I’m not opposed to making a buck. I’m not even opposed to the extraction of aggregates — they are a fact of life. But use your heads! Think before your dig (as the saying goes). Once this water is disrupted (600 million litres per DAY — can you imagine?) and the Class 1 farmland is gone (that means “best of the best” as in “there isn’t better farmland anywhere”) you can’t fix it! I happen to know that there is limestone all over Ontario — our government should steer aggregate projects towards those deposits that won’t endanger our water or eliminate our prime agriculural land.

thank you


May 10, 2011
2:35 PM

when is all this stupidity going to stop its time the government got somebody with a brain in their head to stop it all

May 10, 2011
10:24 AM

Hello John, our family used to live quite close to the open pit asbestos mine in Danville Que.

Anyone who believes—even in their wildest dreams- that a hole of the described size will not have far reaching effects on everything for miles around is seriously deluded, ground water disruption, rock dust air pollution, to name a few. Yes, the world needs building building materials, but to get them in this manner, with all we know from past experience in destroying huge tracts of land is nuts, Especially Farm land—-HELLO- when was the last time most of us Canadians actually ate a variety of NON imported fruits and veggies?

May 10, 2011
6:42 AM

This is absolutely unacceptable!!!!! There would be a huge environmental effect!!! Please don’t give this company a license to mine here. We are a very affluent country do we need the money? If we don’t have resources we don’t have anything!!! Very short term, juvenile thinking. Stop this now.

May 08, 2011
3:44 PM

I listened to an interview of a Highland Companies PR person on As It Happens (CBC radio) and it was… amazingly frustrating! When asked about the loss of farmland, the gentleman said that they would reclaim the soil in order for farming to start again AT THE BOTTOM OF THE HOLE! That’s right, those 600 million liters of water a day would have to be forever pumped and farmers would have to do their business 200 feet below ground. And that was only the most ridiculous thing the man said.

May 07, 2011
12:23 AM

Is Explosives Plant next too Luther Marsh more ‘Environmental Improvement’?

Regrettably, it appears that spin off industries are already taking a foot hold in adjacent communities to the proposed ‘mega pit’. An explosives plant requiring an Official Plan Amendment was approved by the OMB in an adjacent community, Township of East Luther Grand Valley, to another environmentally sensitive wetland conservation area not far from proposed pit site. The amendment was designation from Agricultural and Environmental Protection (of Luther Marsh — unique wetlands sanctuary) to Special Policy Area and Environmental Protection to permit an explosives storage and distribution facility. Coincidence? I think not. Gargantuan open pit mine, explosives plant approval, not looking very good for those supporting environmental protection.

May 06, 2011
5:01 PM

Why does all the prime farm land in Ontario have to be sacrificed to developers & big business.? Is this so we have to have all our food imported so it’s been on ships & in trucks for weeks until it gets to us? How is this a healthy environment ? Where are the benefits to the average Ontarian? Since food import is on the rise, more & more extinct deseases are returning.. Is this our future? Save the farm land.

May 06, 2011
3:55 PM

Thank you, thank you, thank you. If enough people with some experience take an interest in this issue, maybe, just maybe the Ministry of Natural Resources will listen ‘cause they’re sure not listening to the people of Ontario.

May 06, 2011
10:30 AM

The scale of the Highlands proposal certainly grabs one’s attention. 2300 acres is a lot of acreage! But what if it just happens a couple of hundred acres at a time? Is that OK? Here on the Niagara Escarpment in Caledon we have 2700 acres already undergoing extraction, much of it below the water table. There are applications underway for a wider area. There is ‘land-banking’ occurring. We say ‘enough is enough’, but the Provincial Policy Statement specifically says we can’t even ask the question of need. At PitSense we say this nonsense must stop and we have to ReThink the fundamental relationships between society, industry, and ecology. This goal pertains to ALL efforts to exploit non-renewable resources, whether it’s 2300 acres at one whack, as in Melancthon, or 2700 acres expanded by 100 acres at a time, as in the McCormick pit proposal in Caledon. The Dominos need not continue to fall.

May 06, 2011
9:41 AM

That the Hedge fund conglomerate lied in their initial application process identifying themselves as a “consortium of farmers” should immediately disqualify them.

May 06, 2011
5:55 AM

Thank you to the David Suzuki Foundation and to all of the people who have read this article. If you would like to become part of the community opposing the proposed quarry, please join us at to get the latest news and activities to help stop the quarry. Thank you!

May 06, 2011
5:55 AM

I unequivocally opposed this quarry. I have researched the ground water, and ecological consequences on the local environment where much smaller quarries operate, and I know that only ignorance and greed are the driving force behind this new quarry. How dare they there will be no environments impact. This is clearly a lie.

I beg you to stop this insane project, and get the executives of the company to dig one in their backyard.

Rita Baran

May 06, 2011
5:25 AM

I am told this has been blocked….. It this true? And for how long?

May 05, 2011
8:33 PM

So amabel is only used for counter tops and tiles. This seems extreme just to help people impress their friends with their new counter top.

May 05, 2011
7:52 PM

Wow, it looks like the detour lake gold pit. earth is starting to look like mars more and more everyday.

May 05, 2011
5:56 PM

For more information go to or Stop the Quarry facebook site.

May 05, 2011
5:47 PM

I own and operate a horse boarding facility right beside this! I know whith our water and our land, but what about our own lives and animals lives!

May 05, 2011
5:13 PM

We have the same problem in the Laurentides, Province of Québec :(

May 05, 2011
3:50 PM

Its not as though they’d be able to remove 1 billion metric tonnes of Amabel dolostone in a couple of weeks and then make the environment all nice again. That kind of quarrying on that sort of scale would permanently destroy the local environment and have a devastating effect for quite a large radius around the site for several decades at the very least!

May 05, 2011
12:16 PM

Do the math on lifting 600000m^3 of water 60m every day. It works out to about 100000kWh of energy, ignoring the (significant) inefficiencies — every day, forever. Stop pumping, and what was increasingly valuable farmland becomes a lake, or a landfill candidate. Some people try to protect or reclaim farmland for the future. Others are willing to compromise it for short-term profit.

Should we imagine that the mega quarry “solution” implies local aggregate delivery and useage, or is it more likely that thousands of trucks will be daily spreading pollution and danger around the province, wearing out roads built from the same aggregate they are transporting?

May 05, 2011
12:15 PM

This whole idea is obscene! You know there will be a major impact to the environment no matter what is said or how many studies are done. We always seem to learn our lessons “after the fact”. We had better start learning them sooner-there isn’t much time left before the point of no return. Smarten up world or you will be lookinig for a new home in the stars and we aren’t there yet!!!

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