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OMB / Lippa Pre-hearing Conference Confirmed for Friday July 13th - An Update and Issues

10 Jul 2018 8:00 PM | Jeff Crocker (Administrator)

The SLCO is confirming that the Pre-hearing Conference ("PHC") is proceeding this Friday in Port Carling at 10:00am as scheduled.  We hope to see a big turnout.

There will be several controversial items on the agenda at the PHC, which SLCO is monitoring closely.

  1. The lawyer for Frank and Elizabeth Lippa ("Lippa") will be asking the OMB  to schedule a hearing date as soon as possible.  Our lawyer will be objecting because the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests ("MNRF") has not formally referred the case under the Aggregate Resources Act for a hearing.  Our letter of objection sent to the MNRF dated July 10, 2017 has not received a response.  ThePlanning Act appeal and the ARA license should proceed together, but not until MNRF has completed its consultation and provided SLCO and the Township with its responses to our objections and any updated technical reviews.  Please note that Mr. Frank Lippa passed away recently and we are waiting to learn who will be the proponent going forward.
  2. Mr. Ross Earl obtained party status and has notified the parties that he is a landowner on Lamberts Lake, just northeast of the proposed quarry.  Another lake, known locally as Mud Lake also lies close to the proposed quarry.   Both lakes are designated "Waterfront" in section "F" of the Township Official Plan.  Official Plan section E.14.2 requires new rock crushing operations shall be limited to areas "farther than two kilometres from a Waterfront designation".   Both Mr. Earle and SLCO will be making arguments on Friday that the failure to address the lack of physical separation of the quarry from these lakes requires a re-submission of the application to acknowledge these designations and to require examination of the impacts to these lakes, leading to their protection.
  3. SLCO will be objecting to the draft "Issues List" provided by counsel to Lippa.  The List is too general and vague to permit the parties to ascertain what evidence, if any, needs to be called in response to the Lippa case.  It is premature to proceed to a hearing without a detailed Issues List.  We are expecting the Township to support SLCO in this objection.
  4. Finally, SLCO will be seeking full disclosure of any new technical studies provided to the MNRF for review by our experts.  SLCO has been diligent in retaining experts from numerous disciplines to ensure the quarry is either not approved, or at the very least will not impact the quality of life around the lake.  Our experts have indicated in a series of preliminary peer reviews that there are serious deficiencies and omissions in the technical reports submitted to date.  In layman's terms, the facts are noise from the quarry and truck traffic will disturb our tranquil and natural environment.  Traffic safety mixed with the addition of large trucks is a significant concern as local roads are a "five out of five" for safety concerns.  Water quality could be impaired so that the lake will not persist in the same quality we now enjoy.  I expect that once our experts have made a thorough review of the updated studies, we will be providing you with a full report of their findings.  Again, we expect the Township to support our disclosure request.

The PHC will take place in the Port Carling Community Centre, starting at 10:00 sharp.  We expect the entire proceeding to last no more than 1 hour, please spare the time if you can.  Our strength is in our community and our numbers.

The Skeleton Lake Cottagers Organization

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