|Updates||January 27, 2004|
|The Peer Reviews|
| Shelter Valley Aggregates application provided studies on a variety of issues; noise, water, environmental, etc. Council has selected firms to review the provided studies to insure that all issues have been properly investigated. These peer reviews are then forwarded to Shelter Valley Aggregates for their firms to follow up and provide further information.
All reviews can be read in their entirety at peer reviews.
Trow Associates Inc.
Selected by Council to review the site plans, haul route, surface and groundwater, Trow has sent its first report to Council. Below is a portion of their report, dated Nov. 27, 2003:
"General Comments: As Council is aware, the haul route must still be addressed. In addition, the visual impact of extraction from the north side of the Shelter Valley has not been addressed; nor do we feel the Operations plan, as presented, addresses noise and dust exposure to residences located north of the site while extraction is occurring on the south face of the valley at elevations higher than the perimeter berms. ...
... Surface and Groundwater:
More information is required to establish the vertical limit of extraction by better definition of the groundwater table elevation, and the relationship of the upper aquifer to the local groundwater supply aquifer."
HGC Engineering's Noise Impact Review
Having reviewed the report provided by Shelter Valley Aggregates, HGC Engineering provided its Peer Review to Council. Below is portions of their report, dated December 23, 2003:
"The (original) report identifies that excessive levels of noise will be caused by operations in the pit and identifies means of mitigation to allow the appropriate limits to be met. We are concerned that due to the complicated topography of the site and other factors the proposed mitigation may be insufficient, or difficult to implement in practice. Since many neighbouring receptors are located in a rural valley, background sound levels are likely to be quite low and residual noise emissions may be of concern."
... "The pit site is located on a hill. It was apparent during the site visit that if extraction proceeds from north to south as shown on the plans, operations on the pit floor would be clearly visible from residences located at a higher elevation to the north of Shelter Valley Road. In this way, the proposed pit is different from many others in Ontario. Perimeter berming, which is generally a primary and permanent noise control feature would be ineffective in providing visual or accoustical shielding for those residences."
... "The mitigation plan therefore involves shielding the processing plant from all residential receptors with high (up to 12m) stockpiles or topographical features. It also indicates that the processing equipment is to be located no more than 30m from the top of the shielding barrier in all sensitive directions for the barrier to provide sufficient shielding. It is not clear from either the report or the pit plans how the simultaneous shielding of this equipment from a number of residences in different directions can be reliably accomplished.
The impossibility of providing effective berming along the north limit of extraction complicates this situation."
... "The receiver height is questionable, possibly leading to an underestimate of the noise impacts and the need for higher berms. The need to address the noise produced by offsite trucking is mentioned but significant additional analysis is required."
The Traffic Impact Study is expected to be completed and reviewed by mid February.From review dated January 12, 2004:
" ... Plants: ...The S.V.A. level 1 report ... indicates that eight of the regionally significant species will be lost from the property as a result of approval of this application."
"... Birds: The breeding bird table provides a detailed list of the bird species observed on the property but does not indicate if any are significant according to standard national, provincial and regional lists of significance."
"... a wildlife corridor also exists on the site of the proposed extraction through the northern and central woodlots. The significance of this second corridor is not evaluated in the report."
... "The level 2 report concludes that "no appreciable impact to fish habitat is anticipated". This conclusion is based on the premise that since the extraction will not reach the water table there will be no change in groundwater conditions feeding the adjacent brook trout habitat in Cold Creek. Trow Associates has expressed some concerns regarding the lack of sufficient data to confirm the groundwater table elevation."
... "The level 1 report should examine the bird species that are considered area sensitive ... The level 2 report should include an impact analysis of the proposed operation on each species".
... "Further ... the report notes that impacts of the proposed pit on breeding wildlife include "human presence, noise, vibration and dust from stripping, extraction, haulage and rehabilitation". They then state that these impacts "are expected to be relatively minor due to adequate setbacks". Further on in level 2 report the recommended setback is 15 metres. No explanation or analysis is provided to show how a 15 metre buffer of agricultural field will provide "adequate buffer" for breeding birds or any corridor function." ... "The level 1 report indicates that the property contains 29 hectares of forest cover, 23 of which will be removed as a result of extraction ... 80% will be removed. The proposed Rehabilitation Plan calls for an "Ecological Restoration Plan Area" of approximately 5 hectares. No analysis is provided to show how this 5 hectares will adequately replace the 23 hectares of forest cover lost either in terms of habitat or in terms of function."
... "In fact evidence is provided in the level 1 and 2 reports to show that the central and northern woodlots contain many features and provide functions which might be interpreted as significant. ... Without the central and north woodlots half of the areas sensitive birds known from this property will be lost. This indicates that the proposed operation will have a negative impact on significant wildlife resources on this property. This impact has not been quantified or evaluated to date."
... "Conclusions ... Prior to any approval of this site for extraction, further analysis of the features and functions identified on and adjacent to this property is required."
... "Section 16b(v) of the Township of Haldimand Official Plan "In order to preserve the scenic beauty and amenity of the area, aggregate operations will generally be restricted to areas which can be screened from public view". should be addressed prior to approval of this application."
Wednesday February 11, 7PM
Peer Review Consultants Presentation
Grafton Town Hall
10836 County Road 2
Valley Voices CD LaunchThe "Aengus Finnan and Friends" Concert was a huge success, resulting in a standing room only crowd.
At the concert the compilation CD entitled "Valley Voices" had its official release, with numerous sales taking place. Other than the manufacturing costs of the CDs, everyone's talents, including technical were donated to the cause.Of note, is artist Michael Glover of Port Hope who's original painting graces the front of the CD. Michael has donated the original painting to Valley Voices to be auctioned at a later date, and also given Valley Voices the rights to the painting so that it can be used for other fundraising items such as sweatshirts, posters and hasty-notes. The generosity shown by all involved in the concert and CD has been overwhelming! How lucky we are that Aengus Finnan has such a love for this area! Our thanks to them all. CDs are $20.00 each and available at St. John's Books in Grafton, Centreton Village Store, Zap Records and Flamboyant in Cobourg, Furby House Books in Port Hope, by calling us, or order online. The music is excellent and what a great way to lend your support!