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Dr. Emil Frind, CRC Expert Hydrogeologist, addresses GET Council about risks to water supply

Dr. Emil Frind, CRC Expert Hydrogeologist, addresses GET Council about risks to water supply

August 14, 2018 . . . Dr. Emil Frind, retained by CRC to review the potential groundwater impacts of the proposed Hidden Quarry, presented his findings to GET Council under the heading: “Uncertainties in the Modelling of the Impact of Hidden Quarry on the Groundwater.”

Emil O. Frind Ph.D, P.Eng is Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Groundwater (modelling) at the University of Waterloo. Together with hydrogeologist Garry Hunter, he has assessed, on behalf of CRC, the James Dick Construction Ltd. (JDCL) application to mine aggregate 23 metres below the water table in the Paris Galt Moraine at Hwy. 7 and 6th Line Eramosa, just a kilometre east of Rockwood.

An internationally respected pioneer in the field of quantitative groundwater science, Dr. Frind provided a summary of the two models that have been employed by the proponent’s hydrogeologist, Harden Environmental Services Ltd., and by the Grand River Conservation Authority in the Tier 3 Water Budget and Risk Assessment Program, along with his own critical assessment of both.

The numerous technical issues that Dr. Frind cited led to one critical conclusion: Uncertainty. He questioned whether the predictions by JDCL are reliable on three principal concerns: that the quarry site is not within the wellhead protection area of the municipal wells, that there will be no quality or quantity impact to the new Rockwood well #4, and that there will be no impact to the Provincially Significant Wetland (PSW) located just north of the quarry site.

Dr. Frind drew attention to the fact that the modelling work done by Harden as well as the Tier 3 study by GRCA fail to include an operating Hidden Quarry, with the water-filled pits proposed by JDCL, in their modelling to identify the well head protection area for Rockwood well #4, a serious deficiency in those models. He pointed out that the 2017 Tier 3 Report on Water Quantity fails to address the actual water table drawdown from well #4 that extends to the quarry site, thereby establishing a possible connection between well #4 and the quarry.

With much more science backing up his analysis, Dr. Frind concluded that uncertainties in modelling must be taken into account when predicting the impact of the quarry, and that serious uncertainty exists for impacts on the Rockwood Well #4 as well as the nearby PSW.

CRC President, Doug Tripp, followed Dr. Frind with a brief statement requesting action by GET Council on the information summarized in the presentation. Recognizing the critical importance of ensuring the integrity of the municipal water supply, Tripp requested specifically that Council commit to a thorough peer review of the extensive reports prepared by Frind and Hunter, and similarly a dialogue between the Township’s technical consultants and CRC’s experts on blasting impacts, particularly whether safe setbacks have been proposed by JDCL to mitigate the risk of flyrock damage and injury. Tripp went on to ask Council to ensure, given they find substance in CRC’s reports on these issues, that GET actively oppose the quarry application and present a case to that effect at the 2019 Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT, formerly OMB) hearings.

Council tabled a resolution that the reviews of the Frind/Hunter reports and the blasting impact issues proceed as requested. The resolution passed in a split vote with Councillors Boumeester and Marshall in favour and Councillors Wolk and Woods opposed, Mayor White casting the deciding vote in favour of the resolution.

In a final quarry-related delegation, Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette reiterated the commitment of Halton Hills and Halton Region to vigorously oppose the Hidden Quarry application due to their concerns about the negative impacts of heavy truck traffic from the quarry through the Acton town centre, further on Highway 7 to Georgetown, and on Halton Regional Road 25.

Media contact: Doug Tripp (226) 820-5085

Concerned Residents Coalition website:


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