“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead.
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DAY 27 - NOVEMBER 24, 2009

November-24-09

AMP Evidence in Chief continues with Panel of Richard Murphy, Anne MacMillan and Anthony Goodban

  • Ms. MacMillan opined that in her view there would be no effect on the aquatic life to the East of the site on Second Creek despite there may be minimal changes at Olde Base Line Rd and at Reach 14 (areas of ephemeral or intermittent flows).
  • Mr. Goodban described the Salamander breeding pool being surrounded by woodlot and vegetation.  In the Spring it is approximately 1.5 metres deep but dries up in the summer and is overrun with native annual weeds and vegetation.  It is a breeding local for the Spotted Salamander, Jefferson Salamander and frogs.  He described the effects on metamorphosis of the drying pond in that if it dries up too fast the breeding season for that particular year will be lost.
  • There is habitat to the South and East suitable for the Jefferson Salamander but it will not be impacted by Resource Area 9A – he went through a list of ANSI’s (Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest) and habitat that would be suitable for the Jefferson Salamander.  He said that MNR in their recovery strategy for the Jefferson Salamander had indentified 328 breeding ponds across the escarpment lands.
  • He suggested that the Quarry development would result in a draw down of .2 m. or less in the breeding pond and would have little or no impact.  The pond was considered in the AMP and a list of mitigation measures were developed to ensure there was little or no impact.  The AMP complies with the New Endangered Species Act 2008.  As the Quarry develops the AMP through monitoring will allow for mitigation so there would be no impact on this Pool.
  • Mr. Goodban opined that there would be no significant noise impact on wildlife as a result of the Quarry development – he acknowledged there would be some noise effects but they would not be significant.
  • He examined the impact of dust and concluded that there would be little or no effect as most would be restricted to roadside vegetation that would be washed off by precipitation.
  • Ms. MacMillan indicated that they had looked at the 3 proposed haul routes to examine the impact each may have on aquatics and paid particular attention to Mississauga Rd and the modifications to the drainage systems and concluded that standard mitigation measures could be employed to minimize impact.  The Environmental Assessment process would access the various conditions and prevent impacts.
  • Mr. Goodban said they had done a tree inventory and vegetation mapping on the Mississauga Rd section and provided general recommendations.  The impact on wildlife would result in increased mortality but that would be reduced through lower speed limits and increased site lines but it would not be any different than with that at other quarry locations.
  • REHABILITATION PLAN AND ENHANCEMENTS
    Mr. Goodban explained that rehabilitation was like restoring and enhancements were opportunities to enhance the local environment.
  • Mr. Goodban then went through a series of enhancement measures outlined in the Site Plan notes that included a nursery to assist in reforestation, a reforestation area at the North end of the site and the development of an amphibian breeding pools.
  • Ms. MacMillan outlined how flow conditions could be improved in some of the reaches of the streams that otherwise may dry up.  She then outlined the lake rehabilitation and explained the various types of areas that would be created to encourage aquatic life and vegetation to develop and prosper.
  • Mr. Goodban concluded that there would be no significant loss of features; the AMP would provide the levels of protection needed and the residual impact from the development would not be significant nor result in loss of function. New areas will be created to increase areas for amphibian breeding.
  • Ms. MacMillan concluded that the overall impact on aquatics would be minimal and not harmful to fish habitat.  She pointed out that a HADD (Harmful Alteration, Disruption or Destruction) is not likely as a result of the development.  Any residual impact would be limited to the period of quarrying.
    Mr. Goodban pointed out that the development as proposed satisfies all the requirements of MNR as pertains to natural features – also conforms to natural heritage policies and concludes that they can meet all the standards set out in all the Federal, Provincial and Agency policies.
  • Mr. Murphy concludes by stating the AMP addresses a variety of conditions, manages where variable conditions are encountered, establishes milestones with checks and balances, meets the objectives of MOE and MNR and ensures that mitigation results will be achieved.  The AMP reflects the findings of the CBSES for Resource Area 9A and the Quarry can be developed with minimal impact on the surrounding area.

CROSS-EXAMINATION – Mr. Garrod, Region of Peel
To Mr. Goodban:

  • Your opinion of no impacts to wetlands was based on the draw down predictions that were provided to you from Conestoga Rovers? (CRA)
    --Agreed
  • There will be a shortening of the hydro-period of two to four weeks in the wetlands to the east?
    --Agreed
  • Does that mean there will be a drying up of that area 2 weeks earlier?
    --Yes
  • So the range of 2-4 weeks is a geographical range?
    --Yes
  • What is your understanding of these numbers?
    -- It would vary depending on the wetland, the western part of the wetland would be more effected so it may be 4 weeks, but less to the north-east (about 1 week).
  • This would be the estimate for an average year?
    --Yes
  • Assuming it is an average estimate, some years will be wetter or drier?
    --Yes, some years the wetland will dry up earlier or later.
  • Did you ask CRA to provide you with information of about the range of periods, how the data would be distributed?
    -- Only generally
  • So you don't know about the year to year variability in the figures?
    --Not specifically
  • Do you know when this eastern wetland would normally dry out?
    --I don't have that answer. Mr.. Murphy could answer better
  • When would you expect it to dry?
    --May to September; the predictions we have are based on the model and we'll rely on the AMP as well.
  • So you don't think there would be complete loss of function?
    --No
  • If there were five amphibian species in the Eastern wetland, would wiping out 4 of them mean there was still no impact?
    --Depends
  • Is it your opinion that loss of one species is no negative impact?
    --Maybe, not if the species can breed in nearby habitat
  • At what point does it become an impact?
    --All five would have to be lost in order for there to be a residual impact
  • What would have to occur for that to happen?
    --AMP would have to fail, drier years happen,
  • You'd have to dry out the wetland pretty well permanently?
    --No
  • So at what point would you say there was impact?
    --If the wetland dries out significantly into May each year, there would be an impact.
  • Doesn't the eastern wetland dry out in May?
    --Not sure--
  • Didn't you check this?
    --No
  • Why not?
    --He thinks there was an issue of access
  • How many years of data on this area?
    --Mostly general observations but in 2008 there was little standing water on April 30 in the wetland
  • So you are just assuming that it is the same as in the NE wetland?
    --Yes
  • So if the wetland is occasionally drying out now, how often does that happen?  You can't tell me?
    ---In 1999 and 2007 it probably would dry out.
  • As an ecologist wouldn't it be important for you to know?
    --I know generally but am relying on the AMP.
  • But your opinion is based on what CRA is predicting, but you don't know, you haven't done the work for the baseline data collection?
    --Right, once the license is granted we will be doing the work.
  • The model says there is a simulated drawdown of .5 to 1 meter to the east that would accelerate the drying by 2-4 weeks?
    --Yes
  • Did you ask Mr. Murphy how he came to that calculated conclusion?
    --No

To Mr. Murphy:

  • Looking at the data you looked at wells from 1999-2007?
    --Yes
  • Looking at those 4 wells in the area, you took a number from April and from August and you averaged them?
    --Yes
  • For example, Well C4--the drop of .29 meter/week is an average?
    --Yes
  • Then you took the other 3 wells and averaged the averages?
    --Yes
  • That would smooth out variability’s?
    --Yes
  • And your number is on average a drying .25 meter per week?
    --Yes
  • Then you took that number and came up with a 2-4 week hydro-period change?
    --Yes, we discussed it with the agencies
  • You also assumed that the same rate of drying would be the same in the future as it is today, even though the water table will be lower during extraction?
    --Yes
  • The future condition could put a faster dying rate in place, then?
    --Doesn’t really agree but perhaps
  • In the future will these wetlands be influenced?
    --They will dry out somewhat more quickly.

To Goodban:

  • Do you agree that the shortening of the hydro period adds to the natural shortenings that may happen naturally?
    --agreed
  • Have you done any studies to show how many years they can tolerate the drying out?
    --I haven't done any studies regarding that.
  • Looking at Appendix I, this was added in May 2009 as a result of discussions with MNR?
    --Yes
  • The meetings didn't include the Town, Region or CVC?
    --Correct but it dealt with peer review comments from the agencies.
  • Appendix I are not plans, but concepts for developments of plans?
    --They are conceptual plans
  • When are the plans to be developed?
    --After the issuing of the license
  • Is there some reason why these plans weren't done before now?
    --We didn't have the opportunity
  • Are these plans are dependent on access to private property?
    --One property is adjacent to the NW wetland and Rockfort is adjacent to NE
  • These plans could require access to these private wetlands for 80 years?
    --That would be correct, yes.
  • The AMP would need landowner access, or Regional access?
    --Yes
  • None of those agreements are in place?
    --Not that I am aware of.
  • Regarding the Supplemental Monitoring Response that is proposed; what part is required and what part isn't?
    ---These just provide examples of what can be done.  There is not a mandatory action with regard to this table (Table 5.2)
  • Where will I find something, that in the event you notice change, your client is required to do something?
    --I don't think it is here but in Appendix I.
  • This presumes you have access to those wetlands?
    ---Yes
  • So the requirement is whatever the MNR requires JDCL to do, when the plans are put together, sometime in the future?
    --Yes

To Mr. Murphy:

  • Details of the total costs have not been detailed by your client?
    --Correct
  • In your estimate did you factor in costs acquiring private access?
    --No
  • What about the costs of Section 7 of the AMP that have been added?
    --They were included
  • What would happen if MNR did not give you approvals for various things, you said the quarry could not go forward, correct?
    --Yes
  • What would the shut-down scenarios be and have they been provided?
    --(long silence)--I don't recall documents.
  • There are no contingency plans for shut down that is part of the application?
    --No
  • Mr. Garrod then produced a binder containing documents relating to the Dufferin Milton Quarry expansion (Water Management Agreement, Agreement for the Cox Tract Lands, AMP Agreement, the Joint Board Decision) and this was entered as an exhibit as reference was made to this proposal throughout the preceding evidence.  Mr. Garrod then lead Mr. Murphy through a fairly detailed examination of the documents  pointing out a number of significant details and items that were agreed upon and signed between the proponent , the Region and Consevation Halton all before the matter went to a Hearing.  The issue of financial obligations however was examined and evidence presented in great detail at the Hearing which the Board made findings on.
  • Regarding the differences with Dufferin-Milton application, there are a series of decisions in the water management that I'd like to go over:
  • It says that the main quarry has been operating since 1962 and includes the north quarry plus the extension lands?
    --Yes
  • The 2003 agreement superseded the past agreements?
    --Yes and the water management system was integrated between the two.
  • There is a cost reimbursement section, and a public use agreement?
    --Yes
  • The agreement in general was that Conservation Halton would take over the responsibility and ownership of the lands after extraction is over?
    --Yes
  • In the meantime, there is a letter of credit posted by Dufferin and funding determined, and an endowment fund that was dealt with comprehensively between the parties?
    --Yes
  • So this was proposed to cover any problems, and the costs would be covered by Dufferin and not the tax-paying public?
    --Correct
  • So Conservation Halton benefited by receiving lands after the fact?
    --Yes
  • The Cox Tract is owned by Region of Halton. Dufferin negotiated an agreement to run waterlines and electrical across that tract which was negotiated prior to the 2005 hearing?
    --Yes
  • And there is no proposal put to the Region of Peel about use of Regional Lands prior to this present hearing?
    --No
  • The agreement says that the rent is $50,000 annually, plus liability agreements on this crossing of Halton land?
    --Agreed
  • And there is a structured process for disputes and arbitration and negotiation?
    --Yes
  • In Milton, your client worked extensively with the Region on these issues, as opposed to your client now, who still has outstanding issues?
    --Agreed
  • The Milton AMP agreement with Halton, has a letter of credit, including the grout curtain?
    --Correct
  • All of the lands that have significant features surrounding the extensions lands are owned by Dufferin, Halton or Conservation Halton, so the access to feature lands is easy?
    --Yes
  • How long did that hearing go?
    --From Jan to Sept of 2004. (88 days)
  • The financial evidence was quite a lengthy part of the inquiry and it was an important part of the agreement?
    --yes it was important
  • There were a number of dissenters who felt that the financial amount was inadequate?
    --yes
  • And this amount was for 500 million dollars and the estimates underwent considerable scrutiny?
    --Agreed
  • There was 40 odd years in the operation to become very familiar with the rock at Milton?
    --Agreed
  • Whereas in Rockfort it is a "greenfield" operation?
    --Agreed
  • Plus at Dufferin the environment was already degraded and de-watered?
    --Agreed
  • There was already an agreement about the haul route?
    --Agreed
  • They agreed to work cooperatively to secure lands to the long-term use for the public?
    --I believe so. 
  • At Rockfort, I don't believe that there is a long-term agreement with the Region, Town or Conservation authority.
    --Agreed
  • Section 8 of the Amp allows for importation of fill.  Are there limits? No Economic opportunity to take fill – could one of the lakes be filled?
    – No.
  • How much fill would be brought in by back hauling?
    – 1 million tones – have to meet requirements of the Site Plan
  • Mr. Garrod then pointed out that in regard to target setting in the monitoring wells and the time limit of 8 weeks - one could actually do nothing and because the water levels naturally decline in late summer the target could be met by allowing nature to bring the water level into compliance as the target levels are reduced later in the year – Mr. Murphy didn’t agree that would happen as the AMP would allow for adjustments to take place.
  • Mr. Garrod then attempted to point out the possible false readings that could be created in the sentry wells because if they were in close proximity to the recharge wells the effect of mounding could potentially give you false readings. Mr. Murphy was very reluctant to grasp or understand the concept until Mr. DeMelo produced a hand drawn diagram illustrating the concept which Mr. Murphy finally agreed it was possible and the infamous diagram was summarily rejected as an exhibit by Chair as being of little use but clearly indicated she understood the point – being that it would be desirable to have the sentry wells located beyond the sphere of influence of mounding from the recharge wells.
  • Mr. Garrod then asked Mr. Murphy about Milestone 1 and went through a list of 10 items all of which could be done without a license being granted – Mr. Murphy agreed that with the exception of the test blast you could but go ahead with all 10. He didn’t know for sure about the test blast…

Cross exam continues tomorrow….