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Appeal 'a way of protecting extraordinary water resource,' resident says

Both FoTTSA and township will be filing a notice to appeal CRH Canada Group Inc.'s recently renewed permit to take water from Teedon Pit
Tiny Township council held a special in-camera session Thursday to consult with legal counsel about next steps after a leave to appeal was granted earlier this week.

A Tiny Township group and the municipal council are ready to put up a fight for the township's groundwater.

Both Federation of Tiny Township Shoreline Associations (FoTTSA) and the township will be filing a notice of appeal against CRH Canada Group Inc.'s recently renewed permit to take water for aggregate washing at the Teedon Pit.

"Appealing this permit to take water is very important as a way of protecting an extraordinary water resource," said Judith Grant, member of Federation of Tiny Township Shoreline Associations (FoTTSA). 

"It's very worrisome that the provincial government is very blind to anything to do with safeguarding the environmental resources," said Grant. "We've got this extraordinary resource and we're not fighting for it and we're not allowing the scientists time to investigate why we've got this extraordinarily pure water."

The appeal is against CRH Canada Group Inc.'s recent renewal of a permit to take water from Teedon Pit for aggregate washing. Under the company's existing permit, it is authorized to take up to 6.8 million litres of water per day for the washing of gravel and other on-site uses. The water is taken from a source pond and a production well located on the property.

The appeal process will be expensive, she added, because there will be a new set of hearings, aside from the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) procedure the group is already involved in with respect to an extension of the permit. 

In that case, the next step is an LPAT-chaired meeting on June 8, which will allow people to declare an interest.

For the current appeal, FoTTSA's counsel the Canadian Environmental Law Association will be preparing the formal document to be filed in the next 10 days.

"The decision was absolutely as thoroughgoing as it could possibly be," said Grant. "It gave me hope in the sense that the internal monitoring system was looked at very, very carefully."

The township held a special council meeting Thursday to consult with its counsel.

"There's not much else I can add," said Coun. Tony Mintoff, after the in-camera session. "This is a series of steps. The first one was to get the approval and now it's a natural progression and we're taking the next step. Hopefully, it will take us one step closer to a situation that is more palatable to us.

"We're certainly hopeful as council that we will be successful," he added. "We're waiting for the lawyer to develop and file the notice of appeal."

Mintoff said he's hoping the appeal body will also take into account information presented by scientists studying groundwater quality in that area.

The council member said he had no idea how long the appeal process will take, but he suspected COVID would push it until the end of this year.

Grant on the other hand, was a lot more hopeful.

"According to our lawyers, this one will move more quickly," she said.


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Mehreen Shahid

About the Author: Mehreen Shahid

Mehreen Shahid covers municipal issues in Cambridge
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