Keep Trout Lake Free from Gravel Pit Development (Zoning Amendment File No. ZBLA-01-2016)

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A sand and gravel operation has applied to re-zone a site at Trout Lake, 25 km from Thunder Bay, ON, to develop an open gravel pit and its associated crushing operations. The site is adjacent to lakefront properties, the local road, the river and Mapleward Road (Hwy 591), which is a school bus route and provides access to the other lakes in the region. The pit is to operate for 6 years, with one truck every 10 minutes!

Trout Lake is a freshwater lake at the headwaters of the McIntyre River which flows into Lake Superior. There are 120 lots, mostly developed as camps or year round homes. Lakehead Rural Planning Board’s (LRPB) Official Plan designates the area as Lake Residential and a Fishery. The river is a cold water fishery and is frequented by Thunder Bay residents all along its corridor.

The proposed gravel pit is too close to people, camps and year round homes, and is not only incompatible but conflicts with the established land use and poses risk to the natural environment. Please join us in opposing the application to rezone for the following reasons:

1)      Unacceptable environmental hazards to vulnerable surface and ground water, air quality, ecosystems and biodiversity

2)      Unacceptable health hazards stemming from contaminants to water and air. Diesel fuel and most significantly, aggregate dust affects all people, mostly children, the elderly, people with asthma, heart disease and diabetes. Aggregate dust contains silica, a known carcinogen.

2)         Unacceptable noise levels associated with crushing rocks and truck traffic.

3)         Unacceptable safety hazards resulting from increased truck traffic, and,

4)         Unacceptable cost to tax payers as a result of increased damage to provincial roads and private property.

Re-zoning the property at Trout Lake would result in short term gains for the sand and gravel pit at the expense of long term consequences for people and the environment. It also sets a bad precedent for the region.  When one pit is approved so close to people, a lake and a river, what would stop this industry from expanding further into the long established ‘cottage country’ putting at risk other lakes such as Surprise, Hawkeye, Dog, One Island, Two Island, and Island Lakes, all of which are located in similar landscapes.  Alternative sites already zoned for aggregate extraction are abundantly available.

Please sign the petition and help us stop this short-sighted development.

(Zoning Amendment File No. ZBLA-01-2016)