Donnelly Law in the Ontario Bar Association's Environews

Read Donnelly Law's article discussing two recent quarry decisions in the Niagara Escarpment in the latest edition of Environews, the newsletter of the Ontario Bar Association Environmental Law Section.   The link to the full article follows this exerpt. "Two recent decisions of the Joint Board pursuant to the Consolidated Hearings Act1 create a very confusing legal landscape, with the future direction of development approvals on the Niagara Escarpment hanging in the balance. Very similar facts and arguments in both hearings led to very disparate decisions and a potentially precedent-setting judicial review application by of one of the decisions the Niagara Escarpment Commission ("NEC").

In Walker Aggregates Inc.("Walker"), the proponent applied for approval of a 42 million tonne quarry on the highest point of the Niagara Escarpment in the Township of Clearview, near the village of Duntroon. Donnelly Law represented the Clearview Community Coalition ("CCC"), a citizens’ group opposed to the new quarry. CCC summonsed the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario to provide evidence on the protection of natural heritage features, Ministry of Natural Resources ("MNR") policy, and planning principles.

In Nelson Aggregate Co. ("Nelson"), the proponent applied to quarry approximately 26 million tonnes on Mount Nemo, in the City of Burlington. We represented Sarah Harmer’s citizens’ organization, Protecting Escarpment Rural Land ("PERL").

Both hearings spanned over a year, with hundreds of exhibits, and dozens upon dozens of expert witnesses. In both cases, the NEC, local Conservation Authorities and citizens’ groups opposed the respective quarries. In the case of Nelson, PERL was joined by Halton Region and the City of Burlington in opposition. In both cases, the MNR withdrew its opposition to the development proposals just before the hearings commenced. The MNR’s tacit support of the two quarries sets up a new debate between the NEC and MNR over who has the final word on the protection of the Escarpment.

Read the full article here


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