Quarries disrupt the existing movement of both surface water and groundwater. They interrupt natural water recharge and often lead to dramatic drops in the water table resulting in reductions in quantity of drinking water available for neighbours in all directions surrounding the quarry site. Residential wells in the vicinity of the quarry may run dry and the base flow in the regional streams may be reduced. Furthermore the dust from blasting and grinding as well as the siltation carried by the drainage through the blasted rock can affect the quality of the groundwater over a widespread area.
In an area of the province where water availability is already precarious, it would be both inappropriate and reckless to establish a quarry operation in Fall River.
BLASTING: One of the most common complaints associated with a quarry operation is the blasting. When an explosive is detonated enormous amounts of energy are released. While some of the energy of a blast works to displace rock from the quarry face, the remaining energy is released as vibrations through and along the surface of the earth and through the air creating air concussions.
Blasting may affect well water supplies and may cause cracks in concrete foundations on nearby homes.
DUST: Dust is created by blasting, crushing of rock, and transporting of crushed rock over the road networks. Dust from quarry operations creates increased siltation to lakes and watercourses. Dust from crushing rock causes the largest problem. Crushing often takes place every day, or every other day, during the quarry season.
NOISE POLLUTION Noise is created by blasting, crushing, stockpiling, and transporting rock. The noise created by blasting is sudden, and while it may be brief, the noise created by crushing rock is constant during the quarry operations and can be heard from some distance away.
SERIOUS THREATS TO WATERCOURSES: Watercourses are particularly susceptible to quarry operations, particularly runoff and dust. In the Fall River area many of our lakes, flow from one to another through the Shubenacadie lakes system, are fragile and already stressed by development. Increased runoff, which might carry silt, or chemicals, into these lakes, can negatively impact on their ecologies and health. There are chemicals remaining from blasting, which are particularly high in nitrates as the slurry used in blasting is, in effect, a form of fertilizer.
IMPACT ON ECOSYSTEM: The proposed quarry is within 500m of the Waverley Game Sanctuary, a 12,000-acre area to the north and east of Soldier’s Lake. This special, protected area was created to protect wildlife habitats and endangered and rare flora and fauna. Being this close to such a protected area, and given the impacts expected of a quarry, it is difficult to reconcile this operation with the designation and goal of protecting wildlife habitat and protecting endangered flora and fauna.
TRAFFIC PROBLEMS: Another significant impact of a quarry operation on a community is the sizeable increase in traffic including large trucks to transport material produced in the quarry.
DECLINING PROPERTY VALUES: The negative impacts on local property values of a new quarry operation in a community are clear and irrefutable. The reduction in value of properties are significant, as high as 25% or more, and are irrespective of whether a local resident actually sells his or her property. In extreme cases, properties reliant on wells for water can be rendered virtually worthless in the event of a total collapse of the water table. It is also important to note that these impacts are permanent.
We have significant concerns with the fact that there is an Environmental Assessment exemption for quarries under 4 hectares. This places the public in a precarious position of trying to protect their environment but not having the voice to do so.
Member of the Nova Scotia Road Builder’s Association Robert MacPherson. Scotian Materials Limited. Rob MacPherson. Contact. Address: 100 Venture Run, Suite 103. Dartmouth. #scotianmaterials scotianmaterials.com scotianmaterials.info scotianmaterials.ca Halifax quarry quarries aggregate gravel #noFRquarry Scotian Materials Ltd.