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Tyandaga Environmental Coalition Inc.

(TEC)
Re: Meridian Planned Development of New East Quarry (North Aldershot, Burlington)

June 28, 2018 sent via: email

Mayor Rick Goldring


City of Burlington
426 Brant St.
P.O. Box 5013
Burlington, ON L7R 3Z6

Dear Mayor Goldring,

MERIDIAN BRICK – PLANNED DEVELOPMENT EAST QUARRY


We received your letter of June 11, 2018.

To give you some indication as to the tone of our reply we ask you to consider the
following scenario.

If you had neighbors whose dogs barked annoyingly; who intermittingly mowed
their lawns 5 days a week from 7:00am to 4:00pm; who smoked cigarettes and
cigars with their inherent pollution and smell invading your privacy AND there
was NO-ONE in government (local or provincial) willing to listen to your
complaints let alone act on them then you will have some appreciation as to how
many people feel about the proposed Meridian Urban quarry extension – to
further refer to Meridian as GOOD NEIGHBORS is uninformed and ludicrous. In
many quarters quarries would be considered the NEIGHBORS from HELL!

As an observation, it seems that the only people who refer to the aggregates as ‘Good
Neighbors’ are the aggregates owners / operators, their fellow industrial cohorts, and
the City and Governmental ‘supporters’ who consistently refuse to materially address
the issue preferring, like you, to pass the blame and responsibility on to others. For
obvious reasons, many people seem to avoid using the ‘Quarry’ word - real estate
agents, house sellers, Google Maps and, it seems, by your response, that the Mayor
and City Council also avoid the ‘Quarry’ or at least to meaningfully address it as an
important issue “in Council”.

For you to quote that “Milton Quarry earned the 2017 Community Relations award from
Ontario Stone, Sand and Gravel Association” is an affront to our intelligence and is akin
to your ‘Chief of Staff’ saying that you are “the best mayor Burlington has ever had” – it
is a meaningless subjective accolade that does not bear repeating let alone using as
proof that you are engaged in our interests. You seem to have great difficulty in
understanding and hence admitting the very many negative and harmful aspects of
quarrying. These harmful effects are particularly true for the proposed URBAN quarry
expansion that is only approximately 30 meters from some residences. You seem to
have great difficulty in actively and substantially supporting those Burlington residents

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Tyandaga Environmental Coalition Inc. (TEC)
Re: Meridian Planned Development of New East Quarry (North Aldershot, Burlington)

who look for REAL leadership and help to deal with this matter – IT IS a “a community
issue”!

Your ability to deflect, redirect, and essentially sidestep every important decision with
respect to the quarry expansion, to point the finger elsewhere, and to avoid any
confrontation with the quarry operators has been the hallmark of your support which has
worked very well for the aggregates but has not worked for your electorate!

We respectfully bring you back to the REALITY of the situation:

FACT – ‘SCORCHED’ EARTH POLICY - “Operators of pits and quarries remove


virtually all vegetation, topsoil and subsoil to access the resource. In so doing,
they remove any natural habitat that may have been on site, and disrupt pre-
existing stream flows . . .” “Ultimately, all aggregate operations have the
potential for significant environmental impacts, since they require the removal of
all vegetation and soil in the extraction area and have the potential to impact
ground and surface water flow.”

FACT – NEIGHBORHOOD TRAUMA - “The creation of a Pit or Quarry creates


apprehension in the public, which makes the property less desirable and thus
diminishes the prices of neighboring property. A minimum house depreciation of
6% has been suggested by MPAC and others have suggested as high as 25%.

On another point you raise in your letter, TEC did indeed receive correspondence from
Mr. Tyler, Senior Policy Advisor, MNRF, BUT, unlike you, we were VERY confused and
VERY disappointed by its content (or rather the lack thereof). Instead of answering the
very important questions that were raised in the joint January 25 th meeting, as we
agreed, Mr. Tyler stated that the MOECC had reviewed our ‘questions’ and provided the
MNRF its comments. UNFORTUNATELY, as further stated by Mr. Tyler, the “MNRF is
currently reviewing MOECC's comments and this review is NOT expected to be
completed until the Fall of 2018” – probably just before or after the onset of the quarry
deforestations and conveniently after the Municipal election!

Mr. Mayor, you also state in your letter

“I have had regular discussions about the quarry with both, Provincial and
Meridian representatives and my message has been clear ‐ I expect the quarry to
operate in accordance with Provincial regulatory requirements and with no health
impact to any Burlington resident”.

Clearly, you have been seduced by the accolades of the Ontario Stone, Sand and
Gravel Association rather than by the published hard-cold facts of the Meridian
quarrying operation. Your apparent expectations are inconsistent with the LONG
history of futile communications between the TEC, MOECC, MNRF and the City over
the last 3 – 4 years. For all intents and purposes, it appears (as you will see below) that

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Tyandaga Environmental Coalition Inc. (TEC)
Re: Meridian Planned Development of New East Quarry (North Aldershot, Burlington)

the quarry operators have been a self-policing operation and we see NO indication from
anyone with responsibility that this situation will change in the future.

On a more positive note, Meridian will continue to show their GOOD NEIGHBOR
persona by performing, for no charge, their own quarry inspection for potential health
issues and submit their findings, in writing, to the appropriate Ministries to ensure the
necessary bureaucratic completeness of their regulatory commitment. This would, of
course, eliminate any need for the MNRF to perform a site visit and to monitor the
Meridian quarrying operation, a position that is certainly not inconsistent with their past
actions!

For example, as far as we are aware, there have only ever been two (2) admitted on-
site quarry ‘inspections’ by the MNRF and these appear to be superficial and ‘paper
driven’ with the only suggested improvement being as trivial as the removal of debris
from the access route to the quarrying operation - which incidentally seems to have
been conveniently (or arrogantly) ignored by the quarry owners!

Astonishingly, there have been NO published real time inspections of the quarrying
operation to ensure that the noise AND dust levels arising from the shale extraction are
within the provincial guidelines. In fact, it is our understanding that the MNRF TOTALLY
rely on the integrity of the quarry operator and the dubious conclusions of theoretical
mathematical studies that have long been outdated by time and technology and should
bear, in our opinion, NO relevance whatsoever in any decision process.

Despite NUMEROUS written and oral requests, we have not been made aware of ANY
documented MOECC / MNRF Air quality measurements (where the quarry digging
takes place) that have been professionally and independently conducted, monitored,
and recorded in the Tyandaga neighborhood and its proximity since the issuance of the
1972 quarrying license. As mentioned above, the MNRF seem to rely largely (if not
totally) on the integrity of the quarry operators who annually fill out a standard Q and
A form which is then submitted to the MNRF fulfilling their mutual bureaucratic
obligations with little to no ACTUAL verification – ‘done and dusted’, so as to speak!

We believe this process constitutes GROSS culpable negligence on the part of the
Mayor, the City, the MOECC, and the MNRF and is an insult to the citizens of
Burlington. To have NO documented air quality or noise records for the current
quarrying operation and to rely on the self-policing of the quarry owners is
unacceptable, especially in light of the fact that ‘recently’ published data shows a high
incidence of cancer in the areas that are alarmingly close to the quarry operation.
This situation is made even more disturbing by the fact that the current quarrying is
approximately 750 meters from the nearest neighborhood BUT with the proposed
quarry extension this distance will be SUBSTANTIALLY reduced and in places will only
be approximately 30 meters from some residences and hence one can reasonably
assume that the health risk will increase accordingly.

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Tyandaga Environmental Coalition Inc. (TEC)
Re: Meridian Planned Development of New East Quarry (North Aldershot, Burlington)

To exasperate the situation EVEN MORE all we need to do is consider other sources of
air contamination in the subject area, for example, the King Asphalt recycling and CBM
Ready Mix plants as well as the policy of population ‘intensification’ with its
accompanying traffic causing even more air pollution and congestion.

Perhaps Burlington can learn a great deal from their neighbors in Hamilton where air
quality is an issue that gets Council’s attention and respect! The pollution and noise
caused by these commercial operations MUST BE INDEPENDENTLY and
PROFESSIONALLY MONITORED on a regular basis and the results PUBLISHED and
there MUST be severe enforceable penalties for non-compliance - It affects EVERONE
and their HEALTH and WELL-BEING!

Maybe now Mr. Mayor you can appreciate that, in our view, there was a lot that you
could have done over the years, for example:

• Endorse TEC’s proposed MZO and Request for Review to allow for the
permanent protection of the site, or at the very least the required three-year
salamander survey work;
• Seek along with the Halton Medical Officer of Health INDPENDENT peer reviews
of all Meridian’s technical studies, and
• Immediately commission a Stakeholder Design Charette exercise to explore
sustainable rehabilitation and development solutions across the entire Aldershot
Quarry site.

And yet all we seem to have received from you and your office were words, words, and
more words and NO action. Is this what we can continue to expect?

Regards,

Tyandaga Environmental Coalition Inc. (TEC)


email: tecburlington@gmail.com

copy to:
R. Craven, M. Meed-Ward, J. Taylor, J. Dennison, P.Sharman, B. Lancaster (Councillors)
M. Greenlee (Chief of Staff, City of Burlington)

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