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I am writing to ask the Government of Ontario to deny the application by CRH Inc (Dufferin Aggregates) for renewal of the Permit To Take Water No. 5003-APFH26. The Teedon gravel pit is located in the heart of the Waverley Uplands. This area is a critical groundwater recharge area and granting this permit will endanger water quality and quantity in local aquifers.
Last year, Ontario amended the aggregate licence for the Teedon Pit to allow a huge expansion of both the area of excavation and the depth of excavations. This shortsighted decision will result in the company clearcutting a designated significant forest area, stripping away the soil and scooping out the gravel and stone that together make up the “filter” that keeps the groundwater so pure. The amendments also allow the import and storage of asphalt and other construction materials on the site, increasing the risk of contamination to the aquifer.
Renewing the permit to take water will affect the traditional territories of the Anishinabe people of Beausoleil First Nation. The Crown and the proponent are required by law to consult with the Anishinabe people over the project and obtain their free, prior and informed consent, but have not done so.
The Waverley Uplands need to be protected from industrial activities that threaten groundwater. Climate change is expected to cause significant changes to precipitation patterns in Ontario and groundwater recharge areas such as the Waverley Uplands are especially vulnerable to the cumulative impacts of those changes and gravel pit operations.
I urge the Government of Ontario to reject the application to renew this permit to take water and any expansion of aggregate development on the Waverley Uplands.