Frequently Asked Questions
-Why is there more than 50 years of operating life left in the current quarry?
Response: Nelson currently has an unlimited license for extraction. Since 2012, the quarry has slowed production. Extensive resources still exist for open pit extraction, and eventual underground mining.
If granted this licence to expand, Nelson is prepared to enter into legal agreements to ensure the facility is closed after 30 years of operation, and that the land is conveyed to the public in stages over the course of that time.
If this application fails, will the existing quarry stop operating?
No. The quarry has a licence to operate indefinitely. If this application is not successful, it will operate at its existing capacity for another 50 years before the operator considers underground mining, which would extend its operations considerably into the next century.
Once complete, it would sell the site, which must be turned into a private lake and estate under the terms of its existing license.
-How often will there be explosions?
-What would Nelson do to lower noise levels for near neighbours?
Response: All blasting activity is regulated and monitored by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Parks. Nelson is committed to maintaining and exceeding provincial standards. Nelson monitors all blasts at the nearest receptors.
Nelson has also begun a blasting notification program, which allows near neighbours to sign up if they want to be alerted weekly to the scheduled blast.
In response to concerns from residents on Cedar Springs Rd. Nelson has moved the extraction limit from 30 meters to 100 meters from the road. Nelson will also include berms up to 5 meters high to lower noise levels.
In addition, Nelson has proposed to use a state-of-the-art drill that lowers noise levels considerably.
-Can you lower the amount of truck traffic as a result of the expansion?
-Will the expansion require expanded traffic routes onto No. 2 Sideroad and Cedar Springs Rd.?
Response: There is a direct correlation between the amount of aggregate extracted and the amount of truck traffic. Under Nelson’s current licence, it can extract an unlimited amount of aggregate. Current operations average approximately 1.5 million tonnes of aggregate annually.
The new license application would allow for the extraction of up to 2 million tonnes annually. However, Nelson only plans to extract 1 million tonnes a year, resulting in slightly lower traffic levels.
Burlington regulations prohibit truck travel along Cedar Springs Rd. Truck travel would continue along the easternmost section of No. 2 sideroad and on Guelph Line.
During the expansion of the southern extension, trucks would travel across No. 2 Sideroad, from the extension to the existing quarry.
-Would there be a program in place to mitigate dust?
-How will Nelson measure dust levels?
Response: Nelson has installed monitors around the site to track dust levels.
In response to concerns about dust levels, Nelson recently installed an undercarriage washing station, where all trucks exiting the quarry are rinsed thoroughly.
In addition, in 2020, Nelson purchased a new street sweeper that operates every two hours along the stretch of No. 2 sideroad, from the truck entrance to Guelph Line.
-Can you guarantee to changes to the quality or quantity of well water in the area?
-Will Nelson be financially responsible for any changes to the quality or quantity of the well water in the area?
-Will the quarry extension have a serious impact on the watershed and water levels?
Response: Nelson’s studies show the proposed expansion and after-use park concept will not have a noticeable impact on water quality or quantity in the area.
Under the Ontario Water Resources Act, Nelson would hold a permit to take water and would, therefore, be responsible for any changes to water quality or quantity. Nelson is legally bound to ensure there is no impact.
Nelson has operated the current quarry since 1953 without impacts to local wells. In the very unlikely event of an impact to water quality or quantity, Nelson would be financially responsible for providing interim and long-term sources of fresh water.
Although Nelson has permits to take water, Nelson is more of a water handler than a water taker. The water Nelson uses is essentially moved from the quarry to the local surface water system, ensuring the water stays in the watershed.
The proposed expansion would have a negligible impact on water quantity in the immediate vicinity of the quarry extension. But no impact to offsite water users.
Nelson has established and promoted a ground-water testing program that is available to all local residents.
-Can you guarantee the quality of the fill coming in to the quarry?
-Can you ensure harmful toxins aren’t brought in?
Response: All those who create, manage, transport, receive or store excess soil are responsible for ensuring that the excess soil is managed in an environmentally sound manner. They must also meet all applicable legal requirements, including current provincial and federal regulatory requirements, such as: site alteration, noise and traffic by-laws and permitting regimes established by municipalities and Conservation Authorities; the soil management provisions in Ontario Regulation 153/04 that relate to the submission and filing of a Record of Site Condition; and, when excavated soil and other excavated materials are being managed as a waste, the EPA and waste regulations.
-Will this lower property values?
Response: A study conducted by MPAC on properties near new and expanding quarries across Ontario has shown no change to property values.
Nelson is working directly with homeowners living adjacent to the proposed expansion to mitigate the impacts of noise, dust and traffic.
-Will this protect the Jefferson Salamander?
-Will this protect bats?
-How will you guarantee you will not harm endangered species?
Response: The proposed licence application includes a large number of proposals intended to protect and enhance the natural habitat. Some of these include:
-A 60 percent smaller footprint on the proposed southern extension
-7 hectares of ecological enhancements to improve Jefferson Salamander habitat
-Further ecological enhancements will occur as part of progressive and final rehabilitation:
Improved ecological connectivity
More ecological diversity
-What prevents Nelson from abandoning the quarry?
-Who pays for the rehabilitation?
Response: Under the Aggregate Resources Act (ARA), producers are required to progressively rehabilitate their sites. Progressive rehabilitation means rehabilitation is done sequentially within a reasonable time after extraction of aggregate resources is complete. Typically, this occurs in phases: before proceeding to the next extraction phase, rehabilitation must be completed in the areas where aggregate reserves have been exhausted. Progressive rehabilitation is beneficial in many ways as it: minimizes the open areas within a pit or quarry, prevents soil erosion, reduces costs, and eliminates double-handling of soil materials.
Nelson is required to pay for the rehabilitation. Money is set aside from each tonne sold to fund the eventual rehabilitation.