The application is being made by Olympia Sand and Gravel Ltd. (http://olympia-group.ca)
Olympia Sand and Gravel Ltd. have made an application to amend the Town of Caledon Official Plan and the Zoning Bylaw for the 118.6 hectares/293 acres consisting of partial Lot 27 and 28 Concession 2 WHS CALEDON from A2 Rural to Industrial/Extractive (MX).
The site is bounded by Willoughby Road on the east and Porterfield Road (Highway 136) on the west and is about 1/2 km south of the Orangeville Bypass (County Road 109) and about 1/2 km north of Highpoint Side Road. There are 10 residences situated within 300 m of the site perimeter and 150 homes within 1 km.
If approved the Melville Pit would be the third largest gravel pit in Caledon! The only other gravel pits which are larger are:
- the 571 hectares/1,412 acres gravel pit on the west side of of Hurontario Street (Highway 10) which stretches over to McLaren Road and runs from the south of Charleston Sideroad (Highway 24) down to just north of Escarpment Sideroad
- and the 225 hectares/555 acres gravel pit on the east side of of Hurontario Street (Highway 10) which stretches over to Kennedy Road and runs from the south of Caledon Village down to just north of Escarpment Sideroad
Olympia Sand and Gravel Ltd. have also made an application for a Aggregate License from the Ministry of Natural Resources. The license being requested is a Category 3 – Class A which would allow them to operate an above water sand and gravel pit and processing plant. Their application also seeks approval for the recycling of asphalt and concrete materials that would be trucked in from other locations for processing.
From the application we can see that:
- The extraction area would be 80.8 hectares/200 acres, with the other 37.8 hectares/93 acres being for non-extractive activities
- There would be a right to to extract 1.2 million tonnes per year, although this tonnage has been reduced in subsequent correspondence to 950,000 tonnes per year
- The aggregate would be mined to a depth of 19 meters, hence the overall yield from the site is estimated to be 12,000,000 tonnes and the estimated lifespan of the pit is between 10 and 18 years, dependent on the market conditions and water availability. Work done by Dr. Howard, an internationally recognized hydrology expert suggests that acquiring water for the pit will be challenging. This has had an influence on the proponents decision to reduce its production estimates noted above
- Aggregate will be extracted using two front-end loaders and transported by conveyor or rock truck to the central plant area for processing. Here 303 litres per second (l/s) or 4,000 imperial gallons per minute of water would be used to wash half of the aggregate mined. Then two shipping loaders in the central plant area will load highway trucks with finished aggregate product for transporting to market. Water would be used for dust suppression too, associated with both the extraction and proposed recycling activities
- The hours of operation would be 07:00 am – 07:00 pm weekdays and 07:00 am – 01:00 pm Saturdays. During peak times the truck and machinery operation will begin as early as 06:00 am. and end as late as 9:00 pm.
We have concerns about the actual application process itself, namely:
- There was no Social Impact Study submitted as part of any of the applications, and this was supported by the Town of Caledon, yet in the Town’s Official Plan OPA 161 s.22.214.171.124.2 & 126.96.36.199.13 it outlines that all aggregate applicants need to do thorough social impact studies “based on predictable, measurable, significant, objective effects on people caused by factors such as noise, dust, traffic levels and vibration” …and… “identify methods of addressing the anticipated impacts in the area affected by the extractive operation”
- The official notification for the application by the Ministry of Natural Resources states that “The proposed site is located in the Town of Caledon approximately 8 kilometers southwest of the City of Orangeville” Link . It is not, it is located 1.15 km from Orangeville Town boundary
- Recycling of recovered asphalt and or concrete materials is not mentioned anywhere in the application but was somehow “slipped in” as an assumption in an updated site plan (September 2013). The impacts on water requirements are not detailed