May 27, 2020
NELSON AGGREGATE has applied for two new open-pit mines in Burlington's UNESCO World Biosphere Niagara Escarpment lands: one to the south, and one to the west of their seven-decades long current quarry operation. In a statement posted on Nelson's website, they write that "Independent studies" conclude that their application to blast 124 additional acres in Burlington's Mt. Nemo would "have no adverse environmental impact."
CORE Burlington begs to differ.
The effects of open-pit mining are well-documented, and indicate far-reaching implications for the quality and safety of air and water, for dangers arising from increasing heavy-truck traffic on rural roads, and for the permanent destruction of ecologically valuable green-lands. In addition to these concerns, people living in the rural-residential areas neighbouring the proposed new quarries have a reasonable right to be free from further industrialization of their community by two new large open-pit mines.
The residents (and taxpayers) of Burlington have endured a previous lengthy and costly application process from Nelson: in 2004 a similar application was made, and unanimously rejected by Burlington City Council, Halton Regional Council, the Niagara Escarpment Commission Conservation Halton, and denied by the Ontario Joint Board. Given the fact that the two new proposed sites are geographically close to the previously rejected site (in fact the south quarry site is on the very same location as the 2004 application, only reduced in size) CORE Burlington asserts that these applications must, likewise, be denied.
Burlington's UNESCO World Biosphere lands sit like a green jewel embedded in the urban heart of the GTHA, rich with rare Carolinian forests, prime agricultural lands, significant wetlands, countless watercourses, and several endangered species. We at CORE Burlington do not believe that an ecosystem that has been blasted to it's rocky core can be rehabilitated, despite assertions to the contrary often made by those in the aggregate industry. In their posted statement, Nelson Aggregate has written that the new application is part of their "legacy project". CORE Burlington's response to that: not all legacy's are worthy—some bring with them permanent and irremediable scars to precious green-lands. Once it's gone, it's gone.