OK Industries wants to build the quarry next to the Capital Regional District land, of which the acquifier sits underneath. This map was taken from the 2015 report for the rezoning application. (Photo courtesy District of Highlands)

Highlands raise concerns over proposed quarry near subdivision

This is the second time in three years the company has made an application for additional business

The Highlands has made it clear they do not want a rock quarry off Millstream Road, but OK Industries Ltd. seems determined to add additional business to their property.

OK Industries has side-stepped the district and applied through the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources to add the quarry to their site.

The area for the proposed quarry is beside land owned by the Capital Regional District and the province, and the Tervita waste disposal site. This is a concern for Scott Richardson, Chair of the Highlands District Community Association (HDCA), as his community is dependent on groundwater from the Highlands aquifer that lies partially beneath the waste disposal site.

HDCA wrote a letter to the Union of B.C. Municipalities in protest to OK Industries new venture, but that was the most the group has been able to do. With the vital importance of the water supply to the community and little opportunity for discussion with the Ministry, he wonders if the way such cases are adjudicated is antiquated.

“Somebody has to stand up for our groundwater because our people depend on it,” he said. “Does mining legislation really meet the current needs and expectations of the public for community engagements for projects like this that will have such a long-lasting impact on the environment?”

Digging a rock quarry involves removing everything that is living on the surface and blasting down tens of metres, which, given the size of the area could last for decades, Richardson said. There is a subdivision right across the street that would be affected if this decision is passed.

OK Industries made their application and presentation to the Ministry, the Highlands also made a presentation and met with the Minister and are now waiting on a ruling.

Highlands Mayor Ken Williams said both parties are waiting for the statutory process to run it’s course, but is unsure how long it will be before a decision is made.

“Council has responded to the referral from the B.C government last year and the Highlands said it was not in favor, the statutory authority lies with the province,” he said.

In 2016 the Highlands council considered a rezoning application from OK Industries Ltd. that would have seen the site turned into an industrial park with some agricultural use. This rezoning was subsequently denied.

Read More: Highlands residents invited to view potential industrial site

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crews respond to house fire in Langford Monday night

Fire near Glen Lake Road and Haslam Avenue

Battling bullying covers a lot of ground, says Safe Schools manager for Sooke School District

Jamie Adair’s background is tailor-made for the work he does with the… Continue reading

‘Not the monster everyone thinks’: Sister of human-trafficking suspect speaks out

Trish Kelly’s brother was one of four Vancouver Island residents arrested last month in Saskatchewan

UPDATED: Indigenous youth occupy B.C. Legislature steps amidst court injunction

Police negotiating with people gathered in support of some of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Upgrades for Colwood’s Brook Creek Dam pouring in

Improvements to mitigate risks for residents

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

Most Read