Burlington prepared to fight Mount Nemo quarry expansion


Published October 5, 2023 at 7:04 pm

Mount Nemo mining environment fight
Mount Nemo in Burlington.

The City of Burlington has taken a stance against the proposed Nelson Quarry expansion…it will fight the plan that calls for mining operations on Mount Nemo.

Burlington councillors made the decision today (Oct. 5) after meeting in secret session to determine the implications of taking part in the fight that will go before the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT), the agency that will ultimately determine the fate of the mining operation.

The City has instructed its legal team to attend the OLT hearing to present its case of opposition against the quarry’s expansion.

“There are too many potentially negative impacts to the area, environment, wildlife, and community in the proposed expansion of the aggregate operation,” reads a statement released by the City.

The Region of Halton also will attend the OLT appeal hearing in objection to the quarry expansion.

At issue is the proposed expansion of gravel mining on the Niagara Escarpment. The expansion application by Nelson Aggregates calls for expanding its existing mining operation by 50.5 hectares on Mount Nemo.

Opponents of the plan point to the potential ecological damage that continuous mining will have on the environmentally sensitive site. Those in favour of the expansion say the raw material produced by the quarry is needed to meet the building demands in the GTHA.

If the plan proceeds, Nelson Aggregates has offered to donate the land at the end of the life of the quarry, which is proposed to be phased out in stages over 30 years. It has been suggested the rehabilitated quarry could be used as a large park.

Despite pressure from community groups opposed to the expansion, the City was reluctant to take a position on the matter until a technical review of the project was completed by Halton Region. That review, called the Joint Agency Review Team (JART) Protocol, was recently completed and gave the City its ammunition to proceed with its objection.

JART considered the overall impact of the quarry and appears to back up claims that it will negatively affect air quality, ground and surface water, agricultural lands, noise, wetlands and woodlands, endangered species and road safety.

Gord Pinard, president of CORE Burlington, one of the groups opposed to the quarry expansion said he is thrilled with the way the process has played out.

“City council told us from the beginning they would let the science guide them,” said Pinard.  “It appears council has taken the science that came from JART combined with the feedback from the community and they made a decision to protect Mount Nemo and the people of Burlington.”

The case will be presented to the OLT in the coming months. The OLT is a Provincial body that adjudicates matters related to land use issues.

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