Dufferin pit plan ammended
A Dufferin Aggregates official says the company is listening to the concerns of Paris residents in amending a plan for its proposed gravel pit on Watts Pond Road.
Dufferin has received approval from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to relocate the entrance to the proposed pit, slated for a more than 600-acre site north of Paris, according to a media release recently issued by the company.
Kevin Mitchell, manager of land development and geology with Holcim Canada, the parent company of Dufferin Aggregates, said the amendment is proof that the company is listening to residents.
"The entrance has been moved about 300 metres to the west on Watts Pond Road," Mitchell said. "There are two homes that the gravel trucks will not drive past now.
"It goes to show we're working with the public. We're more than happy to listen to and work with the community."
But Ron Norris, spokesperson for the Concerned Citizens of Brant, which has rallied against the proposed operation, called the relocation of the pit entrance "insignificant."
"The issues that we are concerned about have nothing to do with the location of the entrance," Norris said. "We would like to see Dufferin Aggregates be proactive in providing us with answers to the real concerns we have about this gravel pit, including all of the issues around the water and other impacts it will have on the community."
Mitchell said the change could serve as a precedent for dialogue on other issues related to the proposed operation.
"We have not had an opportunity to meet with the CCOB to discuss water concerns, but we would welcome an opportunity to speak with them," Mitchell said. "We have committed to a process with our community advisory panel and will continue to have dialogue with First Nations groups and agencies such as the Grand River Conservation Authority and the County of Brant."
Last month, County of Brant councillors voted to ask the MNR to revoke the pit licence – held by Dufferin Aggregates since 1974 – and force the company to reapply for a new licence if it wishes to open the planned operation.
The county has made unsuccessful attempts during recent months to have the MNR review the company’s licence.
Dufferin Aggregates officials have said the operation would abide by all current legislation in relation to gravel extraction and there would be no negative impact on groundwater wells in the area.