PERL is involved in a number of initiatives to help protect the Niagara Escarpment for future generations. By far the biggest threat to the ongoing viability of the ecosystems and cultural heritage on the MT Nemo Plateau is a proposal to open a new open pit mine south of the existing 600 acre quarry.
Nelson Aggregate is applying for a new permit to open an 82 hectare limestone quarry on the north bluffs in Burlington. Here is some information that will interest you:
The Niagara Escarpment is designated a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve due to its animal and headwater features, wetlands and valuable natural capital.
The area has the third highest ranking of environmental protection in the Niagara Escarpment Plan, Canada¹s first large-scale environmental land use plan. Unfortunately, as the area has re-naturalized, government agencies have been slow to re-classify lands and identify environmentally significant features. This has lead to the area being undervalued from an ecological and cultural heritage perspective.
This area of the escarpment is habitat for nationally endangered and threatened species, including butternut trees and amphibians like the Jefferson Salamander.
The proposed development threatens to disrupt the headwaters of two tributaries of the Grindstone Creek and remove significant wetlands.
Rural residents enjoy the quiet beauty of the area; scientists and ecologists study the area with fascination; and Southern Ontario residents enjoy cycling, rock climbing and hiking at Mount Nemo, the Bruce Trail and Lowville Park, all close to the site.
Eleven years ago Conservation Halton and the MNR planted 60,000 trees on the proposed quarry site as a managed forest. This was the largest private planting in Halton Region’s history.
The approval of a new quarry as proposed would significantly delay the rehabilitation of the existing quarry, as Nelson has proposed keeping the existing site active for aggregate processing. The existing quarry is one of the largest in Ontario.
Limestone has been mined, crushed and extracted from the north Burlington quarry for over half a century. Residents have lived with ground vibrations, truck traffic, noise and ground water disturbances all that time. Area wildlife have been subjected to displacement and significant mortality due to the exposure to high levels of traffic, dust and removal of habitat. Enough is enough!
In this campaign, PERL will win back the protection that this area deserves, begin the process of a return to a naturalized area and permanently protect it from the invasive industrial operation that is proposed. Together we will soundly defeat this proposal!!