Ara submission lanteigne: aggregate risks & gdp impacts

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The Aggregate Resource Act is being revised in Ontario. Here is the info I submitted to the ARA committee July 5th 2012 speaking of how aggregates put agricultural sectors, and water supplies and our GDP at risk.

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Ara submission lanteigne: aggregate risks & gdp impacts

  1. 1. Waterloo Moraine & Risks of Aggregates to Canadas GDP, Water & Food Security. By Louisette Lanteigne butterflybluelu@rogers.com
  2. 2. Water + Aggregates = AquifersWater is the keystone of our economy!
  3. 3. Waterloo Regions Water Supply The Regional Municipality of Waterloo is Canadaslargest municipality to rely almost entirely ongroundwater.(75% wells, 25% the Grand River)Over 100 interconnected wells are used to supplydrinking water to an ever growing population of closeto 1 million people that reside in one of Ontarios maineconomic growth areas.
  4. 4. Grand Rivers contribution to economy- Provides 25% of Waterloo Regions water and 100% of the water supply for Brantford, Brent County and Six Nations.- The Grand supports the same gross national revenue as the province of Nova Scotia. (State of the Grand River Watershed, GRCA)- Natural Heritage River contains 51% of Canadas native fish species including threatened and endangered species- River and tributaries support commercial fishing, tourism, birding, boating, trails and recreational use-Recharges Lake Erie and supports the economy related to this resource.
  5. 5. Waterloo Regions economic contributionsWaterloo has a skilled and talented workforce of 282,300 (2010)$19.5 billion GDP, with a 5.8% increase from 2009 to 2010 (2010)Canada’s second most manufacturing intensive economy; 20% of our employed population (2008)Canada’s 10th and Ontario’s 4th largest urban area (2010) One of Canada’s fastest growing communities, with a population of 543,700 people that is projected to reach 729,000 people by 203174,000 full-time post-secondary students, including 15,000 co- operative education students WATERLOO REGION PROFILE FOR 2011 -2014 STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS
  6. 6. Economic Contributions cont.University of Waterloo’s Schlegel-UW ResearchInstitute for Aging (including the Agri-Food forHealthy Aging [A-HA] initiative)Conestoga College’s Institute for Food ProcessingTechnologyClose proximity to the University of Guelph, aleading agri-food research institution.
  7. 7. Waterloo Region will lead the country in economic growth Strong manufacturing growth will give Waterloo Region the highest economic growth in Canada among medium- sized cities in 2012, says a new report from the Conference Board of Canada. The region’s gross domestic product will grow by 3.3 per cent this year, down from 3.9 per cent in 2011, the board said. The KW Record: June 28, 2012
  8. 8. Waterloo Regions Agricultural industries Waterloo is the second largest food belt in Ontario: Total gross farm receipts in 2005 for all farms in Waterloo Region totalled almost $400 million. Agriculture represents the largest land use activity in Waterloo Region WATERLOO REGION PROFILE FOR 2011 -2014 STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS.
  9. 9. Waterloo Agriculture Cont.Although direct employment numbers onthe farm are minimal, the impact of ouraccess to agricultural land and product onemployment across the entire food industry,from research, processing and end users isenormous.WATERLOO REGION PROFILE FOR 2011 -2014 STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS
  10. 10. Leading food companies in Waterloo Region.Schneider-Maple Leaf Foods - Kitchener meat processing since 1886 andinventor of the official Oktoberfest SausageDare Foods – Family owned since 1892Frito Lay – One of North Americas largest snack food companiesWeston Bakeries – Variety of fresh fresh, frozen frozen and speciality bakeryproductsPillers Sausages & Delicatessens – A 1957 butcher shop that evolved into oneof North Americas Largest producers of sausages and deli meatsElmira Poultry – One of Canadas largest meat suppliers since 1985Tamming Foods LTD. – Sugar wafer productsDC Food Processing – Packer, private label batter, breaded chicken, fish, vealand cheese
  11. 11. A View of Ontarios Farmlands 2011 Census of AgricultureOntario has the biggest agricultural output asmeasured by farm cash receipts, with 12.6 millionacres in agricultural production, just 5.6% of Ontario’sland base.Though Ontario has less than a quarter of thefarmland of either Saskatchewan or Alberta, thecombination of soil and climate mean yields onOntario farmland are often double or more than thatof the Prairies.
  12. 12. Farmlands in Ontario at riskNumber of farms in Ontario dropped 9.2%from 2006 to 2011The area farmed in the province fell 4.8%from 2006 to 2011.
  13. 13. Aggregate Resource Act 199085% of Ontarios aggregates are taken from Southern Ontario.
  14. 14. The reason for the decline of Farms in Ontario.“It’s subdivisions, it’s shopping malls, it’sroads,” said Mark Wales, president of theOntario Federation of Agriculture. “We’redeveloping good farmland that in the longrun will not be available to grow food, fibreand fuel for the world.”
  15. 15. Food vs. Aggregates: JobsSource:Liberal MP Leeanna Pendergast press release titled “Lets put pits in their place”, June 21, 2011.Aggregates employ Canadian Agriculture35000 people directly and Agri-food sectorsand indirectly (2008) employ 2.2including 3.2 billion million jobs. (one in 8GDP and 1.8 million in jobs in Canada.) andLabour income. generates 99 Billion GDP. 8.1% of Canadas total GDP.
  16. 16. Mark Wales, President ofOntario Federation of Agriculture states: “Canada is expected to be one of only six countries in the world to be a net exporter of food.” http://www.lfpress.com/news/london/2012/06/04/19836431.html
  17. 17. Global water & food crisis due to declining aquifersWorlds largest aquifer going dry Chinas north that produces food for 400The Ogallala aquifer is the worlds largest million people is running out of waterunderground water system, irrigating one- because they are depleting thethird of the US corn crops and providing underground aquifers.drinking water to Colorado, Kansas,Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Thomas Fingar, chairman and deputy directorDakota, Texas and Wyoming. It’s one of US National IntelligenceCouncil andthe fastest-disappearing aquifers in theworld and the water is not coming back.( Associated Press) The failure of governments to limit pumping to the sustainable yield of aquifers means that water tables are now falling in countries that contain more than half the worlds people, including the big three grain producers--China, India, and the United States. Lester R. Brown,Earth Policy Institute, Washington D.C.
  18. 18. Agricultural lands WITH WATER are in high demand.• Countries such as China, Korea and the United Arab Emirates are buying or leasing agricultural land to help meet their own food needs. The International Food Policy Research Institute• The World Bank estimates that demand for food will rise by 50 percent by 2030. The National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends 2025• Global Economist project that agricultural lands will surpass the value of development lands in the near future due to rising oil production costs, population increases, higher standard of living, water shortages climate change and drought.First photo: China, Second Photo: The US Third: Waterloo Ontario
  19. 19. Less water = higher contamination risks • On September 11, 2007 a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, confirms high levels of Atrazine in Midwest drinking water supplies. • The U.S. EPA, data shows raised Atrazine levels in 94 of 136 water systems tested at the source. http://www.environmental-expert.com/resultEachPressRelease.aspx?cid=4797&codi=19443&lr=1 What impact will the aggregate extractions have in augmenting existingwater levels currently diluting concentration of pesticides, industrial spills and water contamination in Waterloo Region?
  20. 20. Contamination Issues in Waterloo Region Effluent: 29 waste water plants drain effluent into the Grand River Animal wastes: 290,000 cows in the Grand River Watershed produce waste equal to wastes of five million people. Leaky Landfills: The Greenbrook well contaminated by 1,4 dioxane, Middleton Wells in Cambridge at risk too. Waterloos Landfill is leaking vinyl chloride. Industrial waste: Elmira had contamination of NDMA (nitrosodimethylamine) from Unroyal/Chemtura. Elmira lost its groundwater supply. In Cambridge, North Star was sued for trichloroethylene (TCE) contamination.
  21. 21. Challenges in Protecting the Waterloo Moraine Provincial Growth Targets may exceed carrying capacity ofthe Grand River and deplete the moraine. Gravel projects place the moraine and Grand River at risk. Todays policies cannot be grandfathered so older plansapproved years back dont have to comply to todays laws.They pose a risk. We dont know how much water we have. Our knowledge ofground water volumes is limited to pre-development studieswhich forms the baseline data for conservation authorities.Post development data and ongoing monitoring is needed.
  22. 22. . How much is 1% of the Waterloo RegionsWater Supply in terms of basic water costs? (*Not counting its function for industrial or agricultural use.)
  23. 23. 1% of the Waterloo Regions water, at 1 cent per litre = $18,184 per day, Annually: $6,637,160Source: Expert data as used in EBR request for Review for a Waterloo Moraine Protection Act
  24. 24. The yellow zone gathers 75% of the water used in Waterloo Region.
  25. 25. Development Encroaching!
  26. 26. Gravel Pits Encroaching!
  27. 27. Price the value the natural capital worth of aggregates left In place!- Aggregates provide water and farmland used for municipal, industrial and agricultural use.- We need to protect aquifer connectivity from source to wells to secure water supplies and the economic systems dependent on them stay viable for the long term.
  28. 28. What needs to be addressedThe technology, laws, regulations, andpractices to preventing adverse impacts ofaggregate extractions lag behind the realrisks and associated costs.
  29. 29. Weakness of current policiesPrices to extract virgin non renewableaggregates are far too cheap to supportrecycling schemes and the need is there tomandate minimum use of recycledmaterials by government and municipalitiesbetter promote conservation efforts whileoffsetting landfill wastes.
  30. 30. Mandate reasonable Environmental AssessmentsCurrently EAs are not mandated forAggregate extractions without ministryintervention and when EA processes dohappen, test times, methods and units ofmeasurements are not mandated to meetany reasonable scientific criteria to assurenon biased data.
  31. 31. Example: Highland Mega Quarry http://www.highlandcompanies.ca/index.php/companies/melancthonquarry/- Outdated bore hole data taken from 1945- Lack of 12 month creek studies, seasonal variants- Water quality data based on residential well tests: not for quarry risks.- ”Peak over the fence” surface water data- MODFLOW program was used. (Highly Subjective & hard to repeat results using very “bad” baseline data)- MODFLOW lacks regard to localized geology, sediment types and assumes aquifers are self contained without cross jurisdictional impacts.- Bore Hole info in outwash moraines isnt enough. (Ground Penetrating Radar needed etc.)
  32. 32. Problems with engineering firms. Engineering firms are not held liable for their work in creating environmental impact studies after theyve signed off on it. The risk transfers to the firm who purchased their data. . If issues arise due to poor environmental studies, they are not held liable for any of the the work they did. Firms like this stand to profit from remediation if things do go wrong. There is no reasonable incentive for engineering firms to do a good honest job to prevent long term risks. Lack of accountability: no guarantee of good work!
  33. 33. Modflow has its flaws so back it up with further data.Many hydrology firms use Modflow programs to studyaquifers but the program assumes aquifers are selfcontained and this poses a risk. Data input is often subjective which is why mandatorytesting standards and methods are needed to clarifyprocesses to explain where the numbers came fromand how they came to the results. Make sure the databeing used is current.Modflow works better when supported with localizedgeological data including sediment type to betterunderstand actual hydrological connectivity.
  34. 34. Highland Mega Quarry and Waterloo Region is built over Karst. The risks of aggregate extraction in these areas are many.
  35. 35. Potential Environmental Impacts of Quarrying Stone in Karst A Literature Review by the USGS pubs.usgs.gov/of/2001/ofr-01-0484/ofr-01-0484so.pdf
  36. 36. Topography isnt enough to delineate watersheds or prevent water risks. (cross section of the Waterloo Moriane)
  37. 37. What goes in the ground will head to wells with draw down effectsregardless of topography. Professor Mike Stone: chloride loadings to Waterloo Regional wells reveals this fact.
  38. 38. If aggregate extractions deplete Waterloos Aquifers: what are the associated costs?.
  39. 39. Cost for a Lake Erie Pipeline Cost: $1.2 billion (2008) Does not include treatment or transportation costs Does not include cost to upgrade intake facilities. Water delivered uphill The Grand River would be “infrastructure” and lose heritage status.
  40. 40. Cost for a Lake Erie Pipeline Does not include increased minimum wage increases since 2008. Does not include increased cost increases: Due to tar sands demand, steel is up 66% . How much would water costs increase?
  41. 41. Lake Erie:Under Stress Toxic Algae Issues Growing “Dead Zone” Declining water volumes Contamination issues Climate Change Zebra Mussel blocks intake Invasive species Canadian and US water taking Bulk Water Shipments
  42. 42. Zebra Mussels in intake pipe ar
  43. 43. Lake Erie March 12, 2012 Will it even be drinkable?
  44. 44. Protect our A1 Farmlands and sourcewater areas for generations to come
  45. 45. Conserve & Recycle Aggregates(Bricks made from human sludge!)
  46. 46. Protect the function of Aggregates Aggregates = Water Supplies
  47. 47. Mandate test times/methods& hold engineering firms accountable.
  48. 48. To protect communities and the economy, realisticallyassess the monetary risks of aggregate extraction and let us make long term source water protection and food security the highest priority!

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