June 14, 2012, Mississauga, ON - A study being
released by the Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (OSSGA) shows that
rehabilitated aggregate sites are being successfully integrated into their
communities and surrounding landscapes once rehabilitation has been completed.
Launched in the summer of 2010, the “Study of
Rehabilitation in Ontario: 1979-2009” is the first study of its kind to offer a
comprehensive assessment of the state of rehabilitated aggregate properties in
“Aggregate extraction has become controversial in
recent years, especially since there’s been very little information available
about rehabilitated aggregate sites in the province,” says OSSGA CEO Moreen
Miller. “As a result, we’ve had no accurate, objective data to either praise or
criticize how former aggregate sites have been rehabilitated.”
A team of planners and ecologists was retained by
the OSSGA to review 337 sites that had been licensed pits and quarries. These
sites were fully extracted and rehabilitated to new land uses in the Oak Ridges
Moraine Plan Area, Niagara Escarpment Plan Area, Greenbelt Plan Area, Lake
Simcoe Protection Plan Area, as well as Metropolitan Toronto and the City of
Field visits produced vital data on each property
in the study, including amount of tree coverage and native vegetation, as well
as current site use, surrounding land uses and municipal zoning.
Among the findings was that the land uses of the
sites are natural (32%), residential (15%), recreational (13%), water (11%),
open space (11%), with other occurrences of industrial, commercial
institutional and other land uses. There is approximately 17 per cent tree
coverage on the sites across the entire study area, with an estimated 66 per
cent of plant life being vegetation that is native to Ontario.
“Aggregate extraction is a common land use in
Ontario, and the study data shows that former aggregate sites can be
successfully integrated into their surrounding environments after extraction
operations are completed,” the report states. “The data also demonstrated that
rehabilitated sites tend to be compatible with surrounding land uses, and that
aggregate extraction is a temporary land use.”
“By outlining how rehabilitated sites interact
with their surrounding environment, this study and its subsequent phases will
help decision-makers with future land-use planning issues and successful land
rehabilitation techniques to benefit neighbouring communities,” Miller says.
“Identifying important rehabilitation trends will also promote good and
responsible property rehabilitation in Ontario.”
Essential materials for building a strong Ontario
The study’s recommendations include improving the
standards for data collection, working to develop best practices for
rehabilitation and studying all rehabilitated sites in the province. Other
recommendations include developing best practices for managing the natural
succession process through which ecosystems develop, and measuring the
ecological success of rehabilitation objectives.
The Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association
is a non-profit industry association representing 103 producers of sand,
gravel, and crushed stone in the province of Ontario, along with 157 suppliers
of aggregate industry products and services.
OSSGA promotes the wise management of Ontario’s
aggregate resources in a manner that is conducive to conserving the natural and
social environment, while maintaining a healthy and competitive aggregate
For more information, or for a copy of the report, contact the Ontario Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association at 905-507-0711.