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Ontario excavator looking to open new pit


December 3, 2020
By Jay Koblun

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Ontario-based Livingston Excavation and Trucking applied to Norfolk County to open a 90-acre gravel pit on the north side of Simcoe last year. Livingston Excavation and Trucking currently maintains an active gravel pit off Highway 24 on the other side of town, but the province is seeking more research before it approves the additional project.

The Ministry of Natural Resources has designated the property for aggregate under the name the Emerson Pit. The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks said monitoring wells that were installed at the Emerson Pit in 2012 are not sufficient to address concerns raised by Livingston Excavation and Trucking’s plan to extract gravel and sand up to 8.5 metres below the water table.

“The existing monitoring wells are too shallow to confirm or support the interpreted geologic profile,” the ministry said in a planning report. The ministry would like to also see details on all residences and businesses within 500 metres of the proposed pit that rely on well water.

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Livingston Excavation and Trucking has already provided a planning justification report, traffic report, archaeological assessment, noise impact report, natural environment report and a hydrogeological report. The reports generally suggest that the proposed sand and gravel pit will not adversely affect the general area, environment and water resources.

“The available geologic and hydrogeologic data is not adequate in confirming the conceptual geologic and hydrogeologic model,” the report says. “Additional site-specific geologic and hydrogeologic data representative of the proposed pit design is required for validating the geologic and hydrogeologic regime beneath the site.”

Ontario aggregate rules give pit operators in the province priority status when it comes to extracting gravel and sand within the agricultural zone.

Norfolk County’s planning committee has met on the issue and Livingston Excavation and Trucking will being gathering the necessary research to meet the province’s request.