Dialogue on green gravel continues
The president of the Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, Carol Hochu, writes in response to the Daily News it...
The president of the Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, Carol Hochu, writes in response to the Daily News item posted on September 10 entitled: “Highway specifications should require ‘green gravel’ say campaigners.”
Ms. Hochu writes:
“The Ontario Stone, Sand & Grave Association (OSSGA) shares many of the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance (OGA) positions, including the importance to society of stone, sand and gravel; the fact that the industry must be highly regulated; the importance of keeping production close to major markets and of recycling and reuse of materials; and support for a fair and effective enforcement program.
OSSGA, however, fundamentally disagrees with the Alliance’s five priorities as follows: Ontario is already a leader in aggregate recycling, according to a 1992 report. The key deposit areas associated with the Niagara Escarpment and the Oak Ridges Moraine are heavily constrained; the depletion rate of licensed reserves exceeds replacement through new licences. On the licensing and permit approvals process, Ontario is one of the world’s most regulated jurisdictions for aggregate extraction; new licences are increasing difficult to obtain with the time and cost of licensing continuing to increase. On the issue of compliance, inspection and enforcement, the industry is involved in monitoring its compliance with some of the regulations that apply but does not police itself. Enforcement activity, use of rehabilitation orders, convictions and fines are all significantly up.
“Our industry helps secure a vibrant economy, in an environmentally sustainable way. We are committed to meaningful dialogue and partnership with stakeholders and the government. To that end, we hosted several members of the OGA at Walker Bros. Vineland Quarries on Wednesday, August 22 — a full week before their press release and paper were issued. We welcome the opportunity to continue the dialogue with the OGA.
“In closing, let me remind your readers that our industry does not create the demand for aggregate; rather it is society that wants new roads, schools and other infrastructure and we simply meet that demand in an economic, environmentally sustainable way.”
Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association
(See also, David Penny’s letter of September 20, 2007, “Reader says Green Gravel is not so simple.”