Published on Thursday, 20 September 2012 16:17
With an eye on climate change, a British startup creates a new form of the ancient building material
By Michael Rosenwald
Smithsonian magazine, December 2011
“You know, cement is everywhere,” Nikolaos Vlasopoulos, an environmental engineer at Imperial College in London, says while sitting in a brightly lit college conference room in a hulking seven-story building held up by the topic of conversation. “It’s all around us.”
Last year, the world produced 3.6 billion tons of cement—the mineral mixture that solidifies into concrete when added to water, sand and other materials—and that amount could increase by a billion tons by 2050. Globally, the only substance people use more of than concrete, in total volume, is water.
Published on Thursday, 20 September 2012 12:18
Continuing Students' Association of Ryerson (CESAR)
CESAR members visited the mega quarry site in September 2011 where the clearing of the land had already begun. CESAR has been working closely with the North Dufferin Agricultural and Community Taskforce (NDACT) to create awareness around this environmental catastrophe.
Read more of this story on their website.
Posted on th CESAR website.
Published on Thursday, 13 September 2012 11:57
The Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment (CONE), also supporters of NDACT, have an informative magazine-like newsletter.
"Understanding Quarries and Pits" is just this is just one of the articles in this informative magazine-like newsletter.
Taken from their Autumn 2011 Newsletter, "On the Edge"
Written by Robert Patrick, CONE President
Published on Tuesday, 14 August 2012 05:59
When I heard about NDP MP (Beaches-East York) Matthew Kellway’s bus tour to see the site of where the proposed quarry would be, I sent out an email in hopes I could join them to see first hand what it was all about. The bus was packed with concerned city folk, media, and various politicians including the tour’s co-organizer NDP MP (Toronto – Danforth) Craig Scott, NDP MP (Parkdale – High Park) Peggy Nash, NDP MP (Scarborough – Rouge River) Rathika Sitsabaiesan, and NDP MPP (Davenport) and environment critic for Ontario Jonah Schein.
Together we travelled 1.5 hours northwest of Toronto, up to the highest point in south and central Ontario.
By Anice Wong, August 14, 2012
Posted in her Blog http://anicewong.wordpress.com/2012/08/14/not-just-a-hole-in-the-ground/
Published on Monday, 06 August 2012 12:15
Notes from Donna Baylis, one of NDACT's Extraordinary Volunteers
The presentations from the various aggregate industry representatives are wonderfully orchestrated. Key assertions are:
- ARA is not broken but can be tweaked.
- Close to market is good policy.
- Licence approval process must be streamlined; transparent and efficient.
- Changes to ARA must avoid undermining the economic health of Ontario.
- Sunset clauses are bad policy.
- Aggregate levy can be increased (equitably) but funds must go to MNR oversight and not into general government coffers.
The Hansard from the Kitchener-Waterloo ARA Review hearing (9-Jul-2012):
The Hansard from the Ottawa ARA Review hearing (16-Jul-2012):
- Committee pledges to write letters to Municipal Engineers Association of Ontario, ROMA and the City of Toronto (non-AMO) to ask the organizations why they do not make greater use of recycled aggregate product.
- Committee makes a request as suggested for a "list of licensed aggregate extraction sites that have had a significant negative impact on the environment over...the past 50 years and what those negative impacts were." In addition to get the data in two forms: quantity and as a percentage of the total number of licences operated during that time frame. And to determine "of the sites that did have a significant negative impact on the environment, which ones occurred during the extraction phase and which ones occurred from the after-use?"
- Rehabilitation - Ms. Laurie Scott notes that conservation authorities (CAs) are reluctant to take on quarry sites that need rehab.
The Hansard from the Sudbury ARA Review hearing (17-Jul-2012):
- Committee visited Lafarge, Gore Bay (ships to Toronto, Windsor and USA - 75% of cost is transportation).
- Committee asks what percentage of recycled product does Sudbury use in its road construction program?
- MTO holds 700 permits in Ontario on crown land.
- MTO is held to a different standard than private operators.
- 25+ provincial and federal regulations apply to aggregate licences.
- Location of operation (southern vs northern vs eastern Ontario, etc.) makes a difference re: operating efficiencies and challenges.
- Aggregate industry is the only road user to contribute directly to infrastructure costs.
- As it stands, tonnage fee increase would not apply to First Nations or MTO operations putting agg. industry at a disadvantage.
- Committee asks for research on agg. import operations: What are levies? Do they have sunset clauses? Recycling? Timeframe to get an approved licence?
It was interesting to note that several industry speakers had the opportunity to present at two different hearings.