Protect Our Water

Wednesday July 17th at 2:30 pm – Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, will be speaking at the Teedon Pit gate about the environmental threats posed by the pit.

Save our Water: Stop the Expansion of the Teedon Gravel Pit

  • FoTTSA has joined the fight against the expansion of the Teedon Gravel Pit (northward) and the renewal of its permit to take water.
  • This quarry is in Tiny Township near the aquifer that supplies pure water for most of North Simcoe and beyond and was threatened over 10 years ago by Dump Site 41.
  • Residents near Teedon Pit who rely on groundwater began reporting silt in wells and local streams soon after the aggregate operation expanded in 2009. Silt has also been observed recently in the artesian well water at the water kiosk on County Road 27 just north of Elmvale.
  • In addition to the environmental risks posed by the extraction and the washing of gravel so close to the aquifer, the quarry running at capacity would mean 40 trucks an hour arriving and leaving the pit.
  • The Township of Tiny is being sued by the pit owners, CRH Canada Group Inc, because the Township did not alter its Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw to allow for the northward expansion into French’s Hill. FoTTSA supports Tiny Council and has been granted party status in the lawsuit.
  • The environmental consequences for the future are so serious that the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) has agreed to represent FoTTSA pro bono.

 

Here are 3 photos of the Teedon Pit showing its expansion:

  • in 2008, before the  sump (wash) pond was created
  • in 2009, with expanded extraction and after the illegal sump pond was created (it was legalized later);  it is topped up regularly with water from a nearby well
  • now in 2019 with 2 settlement ponds and the sump pond plus green newly seeeded land

2008 (detail from Simcoe County map) – no pond visible, only small quarry

 

 

 

 

2009 (detail from Google Earth map) – large pond created, expanded quarry area

 

 

 

 

 

2019 (detail from drone image obtained legally by FoTTSA) – large pond visible with 2 adjacent wash ponds; newly seeded land in the foreground (green); facing west, Georgian Bay in the background

 

 

 

 

 

 

What you can do:

  • Print, sign & send the Petition – ask your association members, friends, family and neighbours to sign and then mail the paper copies to your local MPP with a cover letter asking that the petition be read out in the Ontario Legislature when it re-convenes in the fall. Request that the MPP let you know when that will happen so that petitioners can attend. Keep a photocopy in case the MPP fails to act. Alphabetical MPP contact list here. Petitions need to be on paper in order to be submitted. 
  • Stay informed and tell your friends – follow FoTTSA on Instagram @tinycottager_fottsa and the Friends of the Waverley Uplands on Facebook.   Share this Save our Water Flyer
  • Finance the fight – CELA is providing free legal assistance but FoTTSA is responsible for all CELA’s expenses (travel, hotels, photocopies, supplies) and for the cost of retaining essential witnesses like a hydrogeologist and a planner. These expenses will amount to thousands of dollars. Help us by making a donation to FoTTSA by PayPal, e-transfer or cheque and indicating “Save Our Water”

Wednesday July 17th at 2:30 pm – Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, will be speaking at the Teedon Pit gate about the environmental threats posed by the pit.

Weekly Friday Protests

Facebook page: Friends of the Waverley Uplands

Dr. William Shotyk at Tay Township Council –  June 12th, 2019 10 am, 450 Park St, Victoria Harbour. The Cleanest Water on Earth: some research highlights from the past 30 years of scientific study of the artesian flow systems of the area.

Schools Water Walk May 24th, 2019  

Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition Aggregate Reform Review May 1st, 2019 -Aggregate extraction in Tiny Township has increased more than 60% since 2000. This is an excellent overview of the the aggregate industry in North Simcoe and its impact on the environment now and in the future.

Public Meeting – Sunday April 28,  Elmvale – Dr. John Cherry: Groundwater – What is it? Where does it come from? Where does it go?What does it consist of? What are the risks to it and What can we do to protect our groundwater for  future generations? Dr. John Cherry is the Director, University Consortium for Field-Focused Research and principal investigator, G360 Institute for Groundwater Research at the University of Guelph.  The public meeting was co-sponsored by AWARE Simcoe and the Elmvale Foundation.

March 2019 FoTTSA Emailing

March 2019 FoTTSA Comment Letter to MNRF and CRH Canada

Aware Ontario Teedon Pit Overview

Simcoe Aware Aggregates Page

2019 ​Teedon Pit Extension Application to MNRF under the Aggregate Resources Act

2012 Planning Application to Township of Tiny – Expansion of The Teedon Pit 

Article: Teedon Pit Update: Meetings with CRH Canada Inc.

By Peter and Jenny Anderson and Christopher Williams

From the Fall/Winter 2018 Tiny Cottager Newspaper

The Friends of the Waverley Uplands, a group of like-minded community members, continue to work towards greater stewardship and protection of the Alliston Aquifer, whose headwaters are sourced locally in the area of French’s Hill. In addition to responsible stewardship and protection of this aquifer for future generations, we are committed to sharing information and research with public and elected officials, encouraging action, and preserving this pristine aquifer. Many members are veterans of the Site 41 fight, and several were asked to sit on the Community Liaison Committee (CLC) established by the Teedon Pit operations of CRH Canada Inc. As reported in earlier Tiny Township Council meetings, there were significant gaps in the CRH water taking permit application currently before the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. CRH’s application did not include any information regarding the final disposition of the millions of litres of water pumped for use in gravel washing operations. As a consequence, our members on the CLC encouraged CRH to drill additional monitoring wells around the perimeter of their current operations so that we could establish important baselines. This information was necessary to determine upper and lower aquifer flows, and specifically whether the gravel wash ponds were leaking sediment laden wash water into the upper aquifer, resulting in contamination of a number of nearby drinking water wells. To date, our meetings with CRH have confirmed the following:

  • CRH was in receipt of the Wilf Ruland hydrogeology report. This report points to the Teedon Pit on French’s Hill as the source of sediment contamination in area wells.
  • Operationally, CRH reported they are actively mining the west wall and that the crusher plant and wash plant are now beside each other and in full operation. They remain 40 meters above the established water table (they are permitted to excavate within 1.5 meters). Seven new monitoring wells have been established and CRH has committed to posting daily data on their website.
  • The new wells only report on groundwater levels as opposed to data regarding off-site contamination of water wells by the wash plant.
  • CRH confirmed that they only use calcium dust suppressant on the paved asphalt at the plant exit and do not use any type of flocculant in the wash pond.
  • CRH indicated they plan to amend their site plan to exclude the northeast wetlands area from proposed development. Our members asked CRH to remove the receipt of asphalt and construction materials from their permit. This would reduce the risk of contamination to this vulnerable aquifer.

The June meeting then transitioned to a lengthy discussion regarding traffic safety, noise and vibrations that were impacting homes near the entrance to the pit. Tiny Council has requested a staff report to address road shoulders, speed and a community safety zone. These issues consumed the remaining time. The most recent CLC meeting took place on September 13, 2018. A shout of thanks go out to all the organizers and attendees for their continued support. Although our MPP Jill Dunlop and Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner were called to an emergency meeting of the House and could not attend, we were fortunate to have Beausoleil First Nations Chief Guy Monague in attendance. He spoke to the greater issues of First Nations’ challenges across Canada and emphasized the importance of water as the lifeblood of our community. The meeting was largely a report from CRH’s hydrogeologist. CRH took a firm position that their operations and “no quarry worldwide” has negatively impacted groundwater. Their data to date, from seven new wells, confirm that the groundwater flows from east to west. Ironically, the previous hydrogeologist offered by the quarry was of the opinion the flow was only to the east. They also have taken a firm position that silted water cannot move laterally from the silt pond. This is curious, as we know of local groundwater springs that are milky with sediment. This conflicting information highlights why much more study is necessary. Unfortunately, CRH have rejected the findings of hydrogeologist Wilf Ruland and dispute the opinion and findings of environmental geochemist William Shotyk (Professor and Bocock Chair for Agriculture and the Environment at the University of Alberta), while praising their relationship with the inspector from the ministry. John Cherry, a world-renowned hydrogeologist and Professor Emeritus at University of Waterloo, University of Saskatchewan and University of California, Berkeley states, “the wealth of the plains depends on the health of the hill.” He also stated recently that “the single greatest threat to groundwater in Ontario is the Ministry of the Environment.” In conclusion, the reliability of the CRH opinion has to be weighed against the biased lens of their agenda. We should not be surprised by their findings. However, now that they have taken a clear position, it is time to challenge them with a set of “alternative facts” from key players and scientists whose only interest is the purity of the water.

To learn more, follow The Friends of the Waverley Uplands Facebook page