Bark Lake Quarry
will likely get
MNR approval
to add Asphalt Plant
The July 15, 2006 open house attracted about 30 local residents and 10 cottagers from nearby Salerno, Conteau, Fortesque and Stormy Lakes.

Present were Beamish management, employees, lobbyists and consultants plus one MNR employee. Surprisingly Beamish had no presentation planned. They just expected people to mill about and talk one on one.

That worked until mid morning when a local anti-quarry lady took charge and organized a round table discussion putting the Beamish reps literally in the hot (sunny) seat - except there were no seats.

The most contentious issue is still the noise that relates to the 25 year quarry operation that seems to have been sneakily approved back in 2000. The noise will not likely be exacerbated by the addition of an Asphalt Plant to the quarry as it generates a modest 80db compared to the 90db crusher/shaker.

The new issues boil down to emissions, increased truck traffic and the lack of any Beamish contribution back to the community. They won't even pay municipal taxes. 

Ground water does not seem to be an issue as the liquid asphalt becomes quite solid at normal temperatures. A fuel oil spill would be more serious.

The most serious new issue seems to be emissions. There most certainly will be some. How much? Will people's health be affected? Will there be an offensive odour from time to time? Will MOE acceptable levels be acceptable to residents? Will anyone really know until it is too late? Will property values be affected? 

The emissions will come mainly from burning of fuel oil to heat the liquid asphalt before it is mixed with aggregate and loaded onto trucks. Other plants in more populated areas use natural gas.  Beamish assured that they will use Number 1 or 2 diesel or heating oil. No bunker oil. 

The emissions from the asphalt itself will be minimal, with one exception: when old asphalt is recycled! According to Beamish, asphalt emissions have not caused problems even to the most continuously exposed  workers. 

The rest of the comments in this section are my own personal thoughts based on information learned today:
  • It takes about a liter of fuel to heat the asphalt for a ton of product
  • A plant can fill a 25 ton truck in about 10 minutes
  • That means the plant will burn 2,000 liters in a 12 hour day
Beamish says this plant will provide asphalt for their projects. Beamish specializes in smaller projects so it is unlikely that the plant will operate continuously. It is also seasonal and will not be operated in the winter.

The quarry operation is also not a continuous operation. Blasting occurs infrequently, perhaps yearly. The crusher/shaker is the main noise source. It is currently at another site.


I have just been informed that the Ministry of Natural Resources is
planning to allow the installation of a portable asphalt plant on a
permanent site at the Bark Lake Quarry by as early as June 15th

Remember that this is Crown Land.  Despite sending in our
petition of approximentaly 1500 signatures against this plant, Bill
Hutson (supervisor  for the M.N.R. Minden) has told Dr. Graham Rose (a public health offical residing in Irondale) that there is no legitamacy in our petition, and they refuse to acknowledge it.

This process of the installation, is contrary to the fact that we were promised a meeting involving the MNR, MOE Municpality of Highlands East, AND No Asphalt.

This meeting has never taken place.  Instead of paying attention and taking into account all the lettrs we have sent in, meetings requested, public seminars, faxes and phone calls, that something evil and underhanded is taking place.

Last year in opposition to the quarry changes, we were sent letters stating that Beamish would have to hold a public meeting.  This has never taken place either.

We are an eco-tourist area dependant on the travel and tourism industry to sustain our economical development.  As the future of the Bark Lake  condominium project looks bleaker and bleaker, one has to wonder in who's pea size brain, thinks that people will pound the pavement for 3-4 hours to get to there condo or cottage built next to a puffing, toxic spewing asphalt plant that has little regulations.

Remember also,that this site pays no taxes and hires no one locally.  Taxpayers will pick up the burden and that means you and I.  This notice of the impending plant is posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights site.

Please go door to door if need be, get all to write an opposition letter to the site in official protest.  Because of the underhandedness of this issue, it is IMPERATIVE that we reach everyone as quickly as possible.

If we could post another full page ad in the paper it would be extremely advantageous, as this was very successful in the past.  The ad costs approx. $600.00 so if we can get a donation from somewhere to sponsor this, it would be grateful.

This is a small price to pay, to save the Haliburton Highlands.  I also need help if anyone is free...... 

email me

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