Water quality sinks Jamer application
By Andy Bateman
April 20, 2009 – Last week, New Brunswick Environment
Minister Roland Hache turned down Jamer Materials’ proposed Bayside Aggregate
Facility at St Andrews. As is so often the
case with aggregate applications, perceptions of the project’s potential impact
on area water supplies were critical to the decision.
In an open letter of
February 27th 2009, Jamer stated that potable water supplies,
specifically those of the Chamcook Lake Watershed, would be protected with the proposed
activities specifically designated under a Watershed Protection Designation
Hache thought otherwise, noting
that the quarry's expansion was denied because it would have endangered Chamcook Lake,
which is the watershed that supplies the entire town of St. Andrews. "Our decision is based on
facts. And the fact is the expansion of the quarry would cause potential damage
to the environment, to the lake. So we didn't take any chance at all."
St. Andrews Mayor John
Craig also opposed the project on the grounds that the existing Port of Bayside
operation “dominated the area making it too dirty and dusty for anyone else to
move in. It's about time that they did leave so the area can flourish and
have year-round employment for the people of Charlotte County," said Craig.
For Conservative MP Greg
Thompson, the decision to block an expansion of the quarry was inevitable.
"The proponents of the project and even the government … knew that
announcing a full-blown quarry operation on the banks of an international river
just wasn't going to fly with the people."