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Brant chapter joins action to defend water from gravel pit operation

Concerned Citizens of Brant

Photo by Concerned Citizens of Brant.

The Council of Canadians Brant chapter joined an event yesterday aimed at stopping a large gravel pit operation north of the community of Paris, Ontario.

Concerned Citizens of Brant report, “An awesome day for the environment and source water… We had an excellent turnout for our meeting with Mike Schreiner, leader of the Ontario Green Party, at the front gates of the Paris pit. We discussed the challenges and successes in protecting our source water and environment, specifically the efforts by the Source Water Committee to have gravel pits listed as threats to source water and our petition to [the provincial environment minister Glen] Murray requesting that he approve the committee’s request. …Source water just got a little bit safer today.”

A primary concern is that the farmland where the gravel pit would be situated is loaded with atrazine (a commonly used herbicide widely linked to groundwater contamination) and that it will be released into their aquifer when the gravel is extracted and washed. Last month, Brant county council adopted three resolutions designed to protect drinking water from contamination when the gravel is extracted.

In a recent letter to the provincial environment minister, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow wrote, “I am writing to ask you to protect the municipal water supply of Paris, Ontario from a risky gravel pit development on Watts Pond Road. The town council of Paris recently passed three resolutions in an attempt to protect its waters from the gravel pit which was licensed some 40 plus years ago but never developed until now. This is an important fight not just for its local implications but as one where the local government is acting in [accordance with the United Nations] recognition of the human right to water.”

The Council of Canadians has stood in solidarity with Concerned Citizens of Brant for the past three years as local residents have fought against a proposed gravel pit that would encompass the wells that supply the drinking water to their community. For updates from Concerned Citizens of Brant, please visit their Facebook page here.