Letter Campaign MOE

It is once again time for us to put our voices together and ask the Minister of the Environment to protect our water. Feel free to choose from any of the 5 letters that have been written by different community members. Letter #5 represents the voices of youth.

The letters have been supplied in 3 different formats so you can choose whichever method you wish. You will find the text of the letter, an online submission tool & a document that you can print out & mail.

Option #1 – Copy the text of the letter and paste it into an email. Copy the email address below and paste that into “To” section of the email. Copy the subject text & paste it into the subject section of your email. Customize the letter for better effect, sign it & click send.

Option #2 – Just fill in your name & email address, click “sign now” & your email will be sent. You can read the letter first by clicking “read the petition” at the top of the form. Please note that although it calls it a petition, it will send like regular email.

Option #3 – Download the file, print the letter and mail it in. You can also just copy & paste the text into your doc program. You will find the addresses for the recipients at the bottom of this page.

Please share this wide & encourage others to send letters. Thank-you for your contribution.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." 
- Margaret Mead

Email Addresses – Copy & paste these into your email in the To section:
gmurray.mpp@liberal.ola.org, bmauro.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org, tmcmeekin.mpp@liberal.ola.org, ehoskins.mpp@liberal.ola.org, jleal.mpp@liberal.ola.org, malcolm.lock@bchu.org, Ron.Eddy@brant.ca, dlevac.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

 Letter #1

Subject: Risks Associated with Aggregate Extraction on Wellhead Protection Area, Paris Pit

Dear Minister Glen Murray,

The citizens of Brant County expressed their primary concerns concerning the future of their source water during the last municipal election. Coupled with the recent request of the Lake Erie Source Protection Committee to protect vulnerable sites on wellhead protection areas, these citizens with the support of the Concerned Citizens of Brant (CCOB), find it justified to voice their concerns once more.

During the last three years, the CCOB has found scientific evidence that gravel extraction at the pit on Watt Ponds Road, even excluding below water table extraction, could not only affect the drinking water of Paris but also have negative effects for those who draw their water down the Grand River, such as Brantford and Six Nations.

Too many questions posed by Brant County residents have been left unanswered and too little testing has been done. We expect the Ministry of Environment to make an unbiased decision, based only on scientifically proven results.

We are very grateful to our MPP Dave Levac for his supportive letter of Oct. 8, 2013 to Minister Bradley recommending a full Environmental Assessment “given the serious nature of the concerns being brought forward by the CCOB, the County Council, regional groundwater protection authorities and various individuals”.

We, the citizens, request answers to these questions prior to any further work being done on the site.

We look forward to your response to our questions and concerns.

Respectfully,

 

*Click “READ THE PETITION” below to view the letter. This is not a petition, it will simply send an email to the addresses listed above.

 

MOE letter 1

Dear Minister Glen Murray,

[signature]

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Click here to download letter #1 in .doc format

 Letter #2

 

Subject: Community and Health Risks Associated with Aggregate Extraction on Wellhead Protection Area, Paris Pit

Dear Minister Glen Murray,

As a citizen of Paris, Ontario, I am extremely concerned about the serious health risks to humans and wildlife in the County of Brant if Dufferin Aggregates’ Paris Pit is allowed to proceed. The extraction of gravel would be on farmland situated on the wellhead protection areas for the town of Paris’ water supply.

In light of the Clean Water Act’s Precautionary Principles as reinforced by the Walkerton Inquiry, I was shocked to learn that a 40 year old license issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources in 1974 is still valid in 2014 given the current scientific evidence regarding atrazine and aggregate extraction and the inherent risks to a community – including the safety of our drinking water.

The outdated Ontario Interim Maximum Acceptable Concentration Level for atrazine which is 50x the European Union threshold is very troubling. The European Union banned atrazine in 2004 because of ‘ubiquitous and unpreventable water contamination’ while US and Canada continues its use. There is evidence about the effects of low-dose exposure to atrazine and other agrochemicals which have been applied to this land in the past decades since the license was granted. Recent studies in south-western Ontario agricultural communities, have found greater health risks, particularly amongst women, agricultural and other workers in the food industry where breast cancer clusters and other health outcomes, are raising more questions and alarm.

The Ministry of the Environments’ Technical Expert Committee identified the removal of aggregate as a threat to drinking water in that the removal of aggregates made sources of drinking water more vulnerable to contamination. The stripping of cover has already begun on the proposed Paris Pit. This poses a serious threat to the contamination of our drinking water due to the removal of 15 metres of soil; a permanent loss of filtering capacity for an already highly vulnerable municipal water supply.

Aggregate extraction cannot take precedence over environmental and health concerns of its citizens. In the short term, it is of the utmost importance that the Dufferin Paris Pit be stopped from proceeding with extraction.

Inter-ministerial Committees including the Ministry of Natural resources, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care must work together to create and uphold proactive standards and policies to protect citizens from the serious health hazards associated with aggregate extraction on vulnerable sites.

Surely there are locations more appropriate for aggregate extraction than the Paris Pit. Locations which do not pose the risk to the aquifer and wellheads which supply our drinking water.

We share your commitment to supporting and sustaining healthy communities for us all.

We look forward to your response to our questions and concerns.

Respectfully,

*Click “READ THE PETITION” below to view the letter. This is not a petition, it will simply send an email to the addresses listed above.

MOE letter 2

Dear Minister Glen Murray,

[signature]

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Click here to download letter #2 in .doc format

 Letter #3

Subject: Aggregate Extraction Risks on Wellhead Protection Area Community and Health Risks, Paris Pit

Dear Minister Glen Murray,

As a resident of the County of Brant in Paris, Ontario, I wish to express my concern regarding the impending Dufferin Aggregates gravel pit in the wellhead protection areas of our town’s water supply. Is the Minister aware that site-stripping has already begun, despite there being no Permit to Take Water? Why is this company allowed to proceed on the basis of a long-outdated 40 year-old license, in an area already identified as being vulnerable to contamination?

In the last 40 years, the risks to human health of many chemicals have become well-established, and many of these substances have been banned in other jurisdictions. . Is the Minister aware that there is now more evidence of the health risks of the herbicide atrazine than there were when PCBs were banned?

Meanwhile, the Ontario Interim Maximum Acceptable Concentration of atrazine is more than 50 times the European Standard. Will the Minister update this twenty-one year old interim standard to reflect current research?

Atrazine and other agricultural chemicals have been shown to linger in the soil. What are the risks of contamination of our aquifers at the various stages of gravel extraction, from the current site-stripping, through to the removal of gravel to a mere one metre above the water table, to eventual site rehabilitation?

What are the risks to our water supply even at this early stage of soil disruption? How will contaminant levels be monitored, and how sensitive are current detection tests? In this delicate situation, with the health of our entire community at stake, will the industry be allowed to self-monitor and be the only source of contaminant measurements?

In the light of the extreme vulnerability of our water supply, will the Minster exercise his mandate to protect water resources for the public good by denying the Permit to Take Water and revoking this 40 year old license?

Are you aware that our Mayor, Ron Eddy and our County Council had supported our community concerns by asking the Ministry of Natural Resources in 2012 that this license be revoked? This request to the MNR was not granted.

All enterprises are fraught with unpredictability: unforeseen circumstances, accidents, incomplete data, anomalies, all impact on outcomes. We are asking the Minister to not gamble with the health and safety of our entire community and those situated downstream along the Grand River.

I, as a concerned citizen of Brant, request that work be stopped on the site until a complete and full scientific evaluation of any activity that has the potential to affect our water supply has been completed.

We look forward to your response to our questions and concerns.

Respectfully,

*Click “READ THE PETITION” below to view the letter. This is not a petition, it will simply send an email to the addresses listed above.

MOE letter 3

Dear Minister Glen Murray,

[signature]

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Click here to download letter #3 in .doc format

 Letter #4

Subject: Aggregate Extraction Risks on Wellhead Protection Area Community and Health Risks, Paris Pit

Dear Minister Murray,

This letter is written to you on behalf of the people who live in the County of Brant and also for the future generations of citizens not yet born who will grow up and reside here.

We remember our lessons taught in the junior grades in elementary school about the water table and its relationship to the natural world and the environment. The overburden was compared to a protective shield that had been secured in place to protect the water below from encountering contaminants.

The issue in the County of Brant with the Paris pit is the gravel company’s insistence of digging into the aquifer. This is our source for pure water.

The gravel company says it has produced science to prove that breaking through this protective layer is safe, however when this science is reviewed by an independent acclaimed expert, the results are found to be lacking in scientific rigour and thereby do not assure the public that their health would not be impacted by this aggregate extraction project on a wellhead protection area.

Given the contamination of the site with agrochemicals such as atrazine, which we know to be an endocrine disrupter, and where there is growing evidence of the health effects of these contaminants, there is a need to assess these effects prior to any decision on the Permit to Take Water ( PTTW).

­­­­­The licence in question was granted 40 years ago in a very different world. The digging below the water table should not be allowed.

We respectfully request that the ministry to take into consideration the growing scientific evidence to ensure our water is protected and to stop gravel extraction below the water table provincially.

It is important to the future of safe water for now and future generations.

We look forward to your response to our questions and concerns.

Respectfully,

*Click “READ THE PETITION” below to view the letter. This is not a petition, it will simply send an email to the addresses listed above.

MOE letter 4

Dear Minister Murray,

[signature]

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Click here to download letter #4 in .doc format

 Letter #5 – Written by the youth of Brant.

Subject: Paris Youth Concerns – Aggregate Extraction Risks on Wellhead Protection Area Community and Health Risks, Paris Pit

Dear Minister Murray,
In light of the debate surrounding the proposed Dufferin Aggregates’ pit in Paris, on behalf of the youth of Brant County, we would like to express our concerns regarding the pit.
Over the last 40 years environmental standards and regulations have changed dramatically. Under current regulation the licence for this pit would not have been issued. Since the 1974 licence grant is still legally valid, the project can still be carried out. The fact that the environmental regulations have evolved in recent decades seems to be ignored. It is alarming that such outdated policy is still being followed. What effect will your decision have on any future developments using old (and possibly outdated) permits?
Evidence found by the MOE’s Technical Expert Committee concludes that removal of aggregate in this specific area will pose a high risk to the drinking water sources that supply much of Paris. With the growing evidence of a looming water shortage around the world, why should we be risking our own water sources? In the event of water contamination, who will be liable? Who would pay for purifying the water or accessing a new source?
The specific location of the proposed pit poses such a risk to the water sources, a new location would be the ideal solution.
The indirect consequences in the happenstance of water contamination is a risk to the reputation and integrity of Paris. As a quaint little town nestled on the banks of the Grand River, tourism has become a large portion of Paris’ prosperity. If this proposed aggregate pit was to contaminate the waters, it would also contaminate Paris’ reputation and appeal as to future economic development. As the future residents of the Paris area, we are concerned that the Paris we know now will not be such a great place to live.

In the best interests of the town of Paris, and its current and future residents, we ask that work be stopped on the site until a complete and full scientific evaluation of any activity that has the potential to affect our water supply has been completed.

We look forward to your response to our questions and concerns.

Respectfully,

*Click “READ THE PETITION” below to view the letter. This is not a petition, it will simply send an email to the addresses listed above.

MOE letter 5

Dear Minister Murray,

[signature]

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Click here to download letter #5 in .doc format

Names & addresses of the recipients:
Government Offices and Ministers to Contact: revised Dec. 2014

Minister of the Environment and Climate Change,
The Honourable Glen R. Murray,
77 Wellesley Street West
11th Floor, Ferguson Block
Toronto ON
M7A 2T5
416-314-6790 – Minister’s Reception
Fax: 416-314-6748

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
The Honourable Minister Bill Mauro
300 Water Street
P.O. Box 7000
Peterborough ON  K9J 8M5
Canada

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
The Honourable Minister Ted McMeekin,
777 Bay Street, 17th Floor
Toronto, ON M5G 2E5

Ministry of Health and Longterm Care,
Honourable Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins,
Address:
Hepburn Block
10th Flr
80 Grosvenor St
Toronto ON M7A2C4

General Inquiry: 416-327-4300
Fax: 416-326-1571
Web Site: www.health.gov.on.ca

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)
Minister: Honourable Minister Jeff Leal,
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
77 Grenville Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1B3
For general enquiries: 1-888-466-2372
Deputy Minister’s Office: 416-326-3102/fax: 416-326-3106
Minister’s Office: 416-326-3074/fax: 416-326-3083

Brant County Health Unit,
Dr. Malcolm Lock, Medical Officer of Health,
Brant County Health Unit,
194 Terrace Hill St.,
Brantford, ON
N3R 1G7

Brant County Council,

Mayor Ron Eddy,
County Administrative Building,
26 Park Ave.,
Burford, ON
P.O. Box 160
Burford,
N0E 1A0

Provincial Member of Parliament:

Dave Levac MPP
96 Nelson Street, Unit 101
Brantford, ON
N3T 2N1