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River Valley Developments

Tribune file photo

“This is an important decision and an excellent result for the protection of our municipal water supply – but there is still work to be done,” Janet Laird, the city’s executive director of planning, building, engineering and environment, said in a news release.

Water-taking worries will get hearing

City hall is happy about the latest development in a water-related dispute that prompted all four Guelph candidates in the provincial election to stand shoulder to shoulder in February in support of the city’s position.
The Liberal, PC, NDP and Green party candidates set aside their political differences  and united behind the city’s concerns about an amended water-taking permit for River Valley Developments Inc. – for operations at the  former Dolime quarry.
The province’s Environmental Review Tribunal has granted the city’s application for leave to appeal a Ministry of the Environment decision about the permit. The ruling opens up an opportunity to address the city’s long-standing concerns about risks posed to the city’s water supply by the quarry operations at Wellington Road and the Hanlon Expressway, said a city new release Friday. “This is an important decision and an excellent result for the protection of our municipal water supply – but there is still work to be done,” Janet Laird, the city’s executive director of planning, building, engineering and environment, said in the release.
“The tribunal’s decision gives the city the right to a full hearing on an issue of critical importance affecting the city’s water supply, and a renewed opportunity for meaningful discussions with the Ministry of the Environment and the quarry’s owner,” Laird said.
The city is hoping these discussions could avoid a lengthy and contentious hearing, the release said. The city will be asking for the permit to take water to include conditions that would require the establishment of a management plan for the quarry. The plan would include: strategies to mitigate impacts to the city’s drinking water when the quarry ceases operation; an adequate monitoring program; and financial assurances to ensure the quarry owner, rather than Guelph residents, pay for long-term mitigation costs related to its operation.
The city has long maintained that excavation and water-taking at the former Dolime quarry has the potential to impact the quality and quantity of Guelph’s municipal water supply system.
In its decision to grant leave to appeal, the Environmental Review Tribunal “accepted all of the city’s key arguments and determined that there is reason to believe that the decision to amend and extend the permit to take water at the Dolime quarry was unreasonable and could result in significant environmental harm,” the release said.

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