TORONTO--On April 22nd, Earth day, farmers of Dufferin County were joined at Queen's Park in Toronto by dozens more ready to make the 5-day walk north of Toronto to stop the proposed Melancthon Quarry. A limestone mining operation larger than Niagara Falls is slated to demolish an area in Dufferin county, just northwest of Toronto.
A Boston-based hedgefund, Beaupost Group, is looking to export Limestone to the United States as building material. Local farmers in the area are warning people of the vast environmental destruction that will result from the quarry which will also affect the drinking water of thousands of Southern Ontario residents.
A spokesperson from the mining company suggests that “aggregates are one of the foundations of our modern society.” The proposed site is 940 hectares of land, about 1.5 the width of Niagara Falls. The area is the current site of the two largest potato farms in the are, producing 100 million pounds of potatoes each year.
Furthermore, Ontario law does not require the mega-quarry to have an environmental assessment, unlike other projects as simple as building a simple domestic house. Quarry development would require the construction to depths below the current water table and would add thousands of trucks daily to local highways and increasing local air pollution.
Organized citizens groups include Citizens Alliance for A Sustainable Environment (CAUSE) and North Dufferin Agricultural and Community Task Force (NDACT). Both have been voicing concerns about destruction to local water supplies, consistent blasting and noise pollution, and the addition of 150 40-tonne trucks per hour (24 hours a day). All of this, along with the slow disappearance of community centres, churches, and homes of local farmers and residents slowly being encroached upon by developers.
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North Dufferin Agriculture and Community Task Force (NDACT) site
The Council of Canadians has been following recent activity on their campaign blog and water blog and also issued an Action Alert (Note that the deadline for Letters of Objection has been extended to April 26)