Environmentalists want Burlington to take a stand against mining on Mount Nemo

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Published May 15, 2023 at 12:51 pm

Mount Nemo mining environment fight
Mount Nemo in Burlington.

A Burlington-based environmental group is putting pressure on the City to take a stance against the proposed expansion of gravel mining on the Niagara Escarpment.

CORE Burlington (Conserving Our Rural Ecosystem of Burlington) has launched an online petition that demands the City of Burlington oppose the expansion application by Nelson Aggregates that calls for expanding its mining operation by 50.5 hectares on Mount Nemo.

The issue has been playing out on various stages for the past several years with polarizing views. 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 plan say the raw material produced by the quarry is needed to meet the building demands in the GTHA.

A statement by CORE Burlington on the petition presentation page states the continued gravel mining on Mount Nemo impacts, air quality, ground and surface water, agricultural lands, wetlands and woodlands, endangered species and road safety.

For its part, 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.

The issue is currently before the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) as Nelson claims that Burlington and Halton Region have taken too long to deal with the matter.

The City of Burlington says by appealing to the OLT, Nelson Aggregates has taken the decision-making process out of the hands of local government.

Halton Region has said it has concerns with the range of potential impacts of an expanded quarry on the community, the environment and the quality of life for residents directly affected by the proposed expansion.

The petition outlines a four-point response that it hopes the City will get behind:

  1. Oppose the application by Nelson Aggregates for an expansion of its gravel mine on Mount Nemo.
  2. Complete the Joint Agency Review Team (JART) peer review and issue a public report.
  3. Designate sufficient resources to ensure funding for staff and external experts for full and comprehensive participation in the eventual Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) hearing.
  4. Explore all feasible options to prevent expansion of Nelson Aggregates’ Mount Nemo quarry, including permanent protection of the natural heritage features, functions, and species, especially the endangered species and their habitats on the Mount Nemo plateau.

So far 739 people have signed the petition with a goal of reaching 1,500 supporters.

 

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