Issue: July 2024
Uniacke Newsletter Logo
Next deadline: August 26

Mt. Uniacke Quarry Expansion Project (from 4ha - 40ha) - PART 4 of 6

Why doesn't NSE require proponents to post notices of public meetings in key buildings throughout an affected community as well as the two advertisements in news publishings? ie: bulletin boards in Post Office, Firehall, Churches and key businesses to ensure that a broader base is reached and that the requirements have a timeline attached? ie: of a minimum 30 or 60 days in advance of any public meeting. Why doesn't NSE have a requirement for one of their own staff members, involved in the registration process, to be present at such public meetings to oversee and ensure it is being conducted by the proponent in a fair and open way for folks to ask questions that deserve answers?

To our point, NSE's actual wording in their own EA.Guide-RegistrationDocumentation-PitQuarry says, "for a Class I undertaking such as pit and quarry developments, proponents are not required to involve the public beyond the official notification through the "required" two newspaper advertisements". But, as we've already indicated here with facts verified, NCCI failed to even do that!

That agregious and purposeful act of negligence on behalf of Mr. Rodgers and NCCI needs to be addressed by NSE!

NCCI will submit their application to NSE indicating, "obviously", that there was no list of concerns to supply because no member of the public had expressed any concerns! What they wouldn't have been sharing with NSE is the real reason there were no concerns! Shameful, and we do hope that NSE will bear this in mind going forward in their dealings with NCCI.

We, and the public of this Community, are in shock over NCCI's agregious actions!

We believe this very detailed letter is more than proof that "concerns" do indeed exist and for good reasons. Just as we are certain you will be receiving many more, similar concerns, in the days and weeks to come. For this reason, we ask that the officials tasked with the decision-making role, not make any quick decisions on this project until you've given the public ample time to respond.

We do not understand "completely" IF according to NSE's EA registration process, letters of public concern only become part of public record IF received with the proponent's application itself? Could a staff member of NSE answer this uncertainty????

Given that we are submitting this letter within only days of the public "open house" meet, we would like to believe that it will become part of the public record of NCCI's application process. Omitting, of course, any personal information such as names, physical address, email address.

We would very much appreciate receiving an email response from a staff member of NSE, confirming the receipt and acknowledgement of these public concerns and whether or not they will become part of public record, as part of NCCI's application to expand. Email as shown above by the sender.

Also, we request that NSE not preclude any other concerns received outside of NCCI's application step in the days and weeks ahead, as we believe we've made a very good case as to why NSE will undoubtedly receive NCCI's application with no public concerns attached, and for NSE to preclude any concerns from public record and as part of their decision-making due to not being attached to the proponent's application would be so very egregious in itself!

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Government has Acts & Regulations that allow for such an industrial activity to be approved in the middle of a residential community with homes, lakes, schools and a thriving business community. Taxpayers, who are one of the stakeholders in these industrial activities, don't appear to be factored into the decision-making process except in the least possible way, "bare minimum" criteria, so that Government can say they required this or that and in the end to realize the Government is only going through some motions to "hopefully" pacify our concerns with never any "real" solutions for them! We are speaking of the many negative impacts such an industrial activity has on the citizens of a Community, in particular, the areas closest to the operation. Examples of which we speak are:

THE UNIACKE MINES ROADWAY...

Mr. Rodgers, we fully realize you may not know this and most likely don't really care since you don't reside in the immediate area of your quarry, but the Uniacke Mines Road, of which all local area residents/taxpayers must travel to get to our homes, was never a well-structured road to begin with. We are speaking of the section of UM Rd that you enter from Hwy. 1 up to the Sawdust Rd junction. Beyond Sawdust Rd to the end of the UM Rd where Partridge Lane begins is a roadway of sturdier engineering because it was done so by developers who bought the land all up along Partridge Lane (approx early '90s).

However, the section coming in off Hwy.1 to the junction of Sawdust Rd was poorly engineered as expressed by residents of the UM Rd who've lived on the road for over 50 yrs. Our family has traveled the road to get to Cockscomb Lake for approx 50 yrs, so we too also have first-hand knowledge of the road's conditions. It was never designed, some 50 plus years ago, to bear the type of and steady heavy commercial traffic it's being expected to bear for the past seven years. It was always a gravel road with its pot hole issues until DOT would send its graders in to do their once-annual band-aid fixes that would only last as long as the next heavy rains held off. But, that was with regular passenger traffic. It was livable and it was expected for those who chose to live there.

Since 2015, with the constant parade of heavy commerical truck traffic, that section of UM Rd is, at the best of times, "horrendous". During heavy rain periods, or in the Spring when the trucks continue to travel when frost is coming out and the roadway is soft, it is quite bluntly, a "S... show". During this Spring thaw period, these heavy trucks are too heavy, even when "empty", for the roadway to support without terrible damage, let alone with "any amount" of aggregate they're carrying. Now, of course, this would be all well and good if the only traffic traveling this roadway was the quarry traffic, however, that is not the case is it? You know it Mr. Rodgers, and NSE, who approves these operations, knows it. But does anyone care about the taxpayer who was here first, who has to travel it to get to their homes? Whose vehicles bear the cost of the road in needed repairs? Whose body itself bears the costs in the need of a chiropractor? Honestly, we've traveled on old back roads that were in better shape.

But that is a testament to the heavy and constant usage of the roadway.

No one will dispute the fact that the UM Rd (the first section off Hwy 1 to Sawdust Rd) is in dire need of a complete reconstruction - possibly paving of surface is in order. The Government is taking in many tax dollars from the quarry producing the aggregate and again from the consumers buying it and paying taxes on. Not to mention the taxes we residents pay to the Province.

The remaining section of UM Rd beyond Sawdust to the junction of Partridge Lane appears to be in much better shape. We've driven it ourselves and it doesn't compare with the issues encountered on the first section. Plus, there's the fact that no one resides along that section of roadway until they turn onto Partridge Lane, which is in good shape as it does not bear this heavy commercial traffic.

Possible solution to help offset the cost of paving surface of first section coming in off Hwy 1 - that Government use a portion of the tax dollars already collected from both the residents in the immediate area, NCCI quarry itself and its customer base, to accomplish asphalt paving. Another option to offset the cost is to place a "surcharge of $10 - $20 per load" to those carrying aggregate over the roadway.

It is our understanding that the Uniacke Mines Road is on the Province's 5 yr road improvement plan (2022-2023). We are sure it is no coincidence between this being announced and the expansion of NCCI's intent, however, the UM Rd is only on the improvement plan for "Gravel Road Projects".

Re-graveling the roadway will not have the long-lasting effects that asphalt will for years to come and won't solve this next issue

DUST ISSUES...

Added to the above "horrendous" conditions, what further frustrates each taxpayer living right on the UM Rd are the horrible conditions they must deal with - the additional negative impacts on "quality of life" issues.

Issues such as: Why? All for the same reason - the steady parade of heavy-laden commercial truck traffic stirring up the road dust and dropping/spreading more dust from the quarry itself or other work sites they've been to - spreading it not only on the UM Rd but throughout the Community as they travel the roads.

Possible solution, insofar as the UM Rd roadway is concerned - the same as the road issues above!

There has always been the discussion and concerns on how far the dust particulates from the quarry site can travel depending on wind direction. Particulates that are known to be cancer-causing and could be airborne for many kms before dropping onto whatever objects they land on. All invisible (so tiny they are) and can be sucked right into our homes' HVAC systems, then in our homes' air we breath. All around us in the air we breath outside (unseen).

Part 4 (Go onto Part 5)

Letter sent in by a very concerned Mount Uniacke Resident