The MHCA, with industry representatives, has sent to the RM of Springfield its feedback on a proposed new aggregate bylaw that will affect the potential opening of new pits and quarries and existing operations.
“We did a fairly careful and considered review of the extent and detail of the proposed rules for opening and operating pits and quarries and I think our suggestions, for the most part, were appreciated by the administration,” MHCA President Chris Lorenc said. “We want to ensure the community that aggregate producers are good neighbours, mindful of the need to mitigate the impact on sight lines, noise and dust that can arise.”
One of the big issues Springfield council and residents are concerned about, justifiably, is the protection of the underground water that serves as their water sources, Lorenc noted. The industry has always followed the rules in the RM and is also regulated by provincial legislation relating to protection of water.
Pits and quarries do not impinge upon the quality of water in aquifers or other groundwater sources, he noted. That was born out by a report on water quality and protection completed for the RM of Springfield in 2019.
The next step is for the administration to bring to council the MHCA comments, for further consideration before the bylaw moves on to second reading.
The MHCA also joined in a public consultation session Springfield held this week on the plans for a West Pine Ridge secondary plan. The plan sets out the RM’s vision for subdividing for lots for residential development.
The Zoom session May 4 heard a number of residents concerned for the potential impact on water quality, and the total number of residences that can be built.
The consultants said feedback on the initial proposed secondary plan resulted in revisions, including the ability to subdivide lots to as small as two acres in the eastern flank of West Pine Ridge. Septic fields will be preferred but development on the lots will require a hydrogeological report prior to approval.
The municipality will hold Zoom information sessions on the proposed secondary plan for Oak Bank South next week and another on the new zoning bylaw on May 18.