NDACT welcomes questions about new quarry agreement

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The North Dufferin Agriculture and Community Task Force (NDACT) and Strada are hosting a Community Town Hall meeting in Melancthon on August 2 to answer questions and hear comments about a newly signed agreement governing the relationship between the community advocacy organization and aggregate company.

Strada Aggregates is exploring the possibility of turning a portion of its existing 360-acre sand and gravel pit, in operation since 2004 in the area of 4th Line and County Rd. 17 in Melancthon, into a quarry.

NDACT and Strada have signed an agreement – believed to be the first of its kind in Canada – giving NDACT unprecedented input and decision- making into Strada’s quarry application prior to being submitted. As part of the agreement, NDACT will not oppose the application until and unless the science shows the quarry could harm the environment.

The agreement includes six protocols designed to ensure collaboration and cooperation between the two parties and the local municipality throughout all phases of the property development. The six major subject areas include communication, peer reviews, wells and natural features, establishing a recreation fund, land assumption and licence assumption.

NDACT representative Carl Cosack told The Echo that the Wells and Natural Features Protocol is the centrepiece of the agreement, which aims to hold Strada accountable for potential well disruptions as a result of extraction from below the water table.

Strada has also agreed to hire the trusted community consultant – the same person who helped NDACT fight the mega quarry – to work with on the pre-application.

“The uniqueness of this is that they are trying to do this in an existing licensed facility so the township has really very little say. All the zoning has already been done so there are no public hearings,” said Cosack. “Strada could have done this very quietly but chose not to and I interpret that choice as tremendous respect that the community at large has earned when they fought the mega quarry, that Strada didn’t want a fight of that nature on their hands.”

He said when Strada first reached out to discuss the quarry project, NDACT wrestled with what course of action to take.

“For us now the real work begins in that we have to make sure that all the things we agreed to are being followed and implemented, and that puts NDACT on the hook as much as Strada,” said Cosack.

Attendees are encouraged to review the agreement in advance of the meeting. It is posted online at www.ndact.ca/ strada-bkg. Send questions to info@ ndact.ca or info@stradaquarry.com.

All questions will be answered and posted online in an effort to build an accessible body of information.

Copies of the agreement are available at www.ndact.ca and www.stradaquarry. com.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at Horning’s Mills Community Hall, located at 14 Mill St, Melancthon.

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