Tell the Ontario government to reject the expansion of the Teedon Pit and order its closure to protect water
TO: Hon. John Yakabuski, Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry
CC: Ms. Kim Benner, District Planner, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, firstname.lastname@example.org
Proponent Cedarhurst Quarries and Crushing limited, Jessica.email@example.com
Dufferin Aggregates has asked the Ontario government to expand its Teedon Pit, a gravel pit that already threatens an aquifer containing the purest groundwater ever tested. The pit is located in the heart of the recharge area for this precious aquifer in Tiny Township, Ontario.
In 2009, the Council of Canadians worked with the local community and Anishnabe Kwei from the nearby Beausoleil First Nation to stop the construction of Site 41, a garbage dump that was being built on the same aquifer, located just west of the Teedon Pit.
Expanding the Teedon Pit would mean cutting down the trees, stripping away the soil and then gouging out the gravel and sand that together make up the “filter” that keeps the groundwater so pure. The company also intends to store construction materials on the site- increasing the risk of contamination to the aquifer. They are also seeking a permit to extract millions of litres of water every day in order to wash the gravel on site.
The Teedon Pit is located on the traditional lands of the Anishinabe people of Beausoleil First Nation. Dufferin Aggregates and the provincial government are both required by law to adequately consult with them over the project but they have not done so.
The aggregate industry has long had a free reign in Ontario. The regulations governing quarries and gravel pits are badly skewed in favour of the industry and communities have little influence in the approvals process. But when we all pull together, we can stop the worst of them. Just a few years ago, Council of Canadians supporters helped to stop the proposed megaquarry near Shelburne which would have destroyed thousands of hectares of prime farmland as well as the headwaters of several important rivers.
The Waverley Uplands recharge area is simply too vulnerable to allow any more destructive extraction. All extraction operations should be shut down permanently and remediated to protect the aquifer. This is consistent with the “precautionary principle” that is enshrined in Ontario’s provincial policy statements.
Send a letter to the Ontario government by March 25 calling on it to reject the expansion of the Teedon Pit and order its closure to protect this critical aquifer.