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Question How will you determine the impact blasting could have on residents’ water supply to determine any negative impacts as a result of blasting? Answer (updated Nov 10/16) Scotian Materials has undertaken a detailed hydrogeological study to determine the existing surface and groundwater patterns in the area of the proposed quarry and what if any potential impacts could arise as a result of the quarry activities. We have drilled and installed 16 wells around our site to map the groundwater depths and flow patterns and have installed flow and monitoring devices in the nearby wetlands and stream. Background baseline data will be collected and analysis conducted to identify any potential impacts that could arise from the planned operation. We will also conduct ongoing monitoring and implement any mitigation as required. In addition, we have collected and reviewed the provincial well log records to understand the current well water conditions.
Question Will the quarry impact my well water quantity? Answer (updated Nov 10/16) Generally, well water quantity impacts can occur as a result of blasting or as a result of water table drawdown when quarries are excavated into the water table. The plan was to develop the quarry only above the water table but through our hydrogeolocial study we have determined that we will quarry below the water table. The impact to the groundwater as a result of the quarry is limited to a 200m radius around the quarry boundary at the time of full extraction and will not have any impact to the quality or quantity of nearby wells.
The potential risk on well yield from blasting is a function of distance, aquifer type and well construction. The closest domestic well is located on Perrin Drive and is approximately 1.5 km from the proposed Project footprint. In relative terms in Nova Scotia, this is a considerable distance from the proposed quarry. Typically the effects of quarry activities are not anticipated at large distances from the quarry pit. In the unlikely event that Project activities results in reduced yield to the domestic wells, mitigation may involve deepening of the existing wells to increase well yield or increase the well storage capacity to allow peak water demands to be met. Scotian Materials would replace, at their expense, any water supply which has been lost as a result of extraction of aggregates.
Question How close are you allowed to work near the water table?
Answer (updated Nov 10/16) The Pit and Quarry Guidelines (NSEL 1999) do not specify a (vertical) separation distance between quarrying and the water table; however, the Guidelines do require that a hydrogeological study be completed and specific NSE permission for dewatering be sought and granted prior to excavation below the water table. Scotian has completed a detailed hydrogeological study and a groundwater monitoring program is being developed in consultation with NSE as part or the quarry dewatering.
Question Will you be conducting tests on individual wells beforehand and what is the plan/process if a resident does have a decrease in their water supply?
Answer (updated Nov 10/16) We are confident that the planned quarry activity will not have any impact on the well water quality or quantity of any nearby water wells. This being said, we are open to conducting additional well analysis on a sampling of wells to ensure the data being collected is accurate. Our plan is to determine the sampling size and locations through a consultative process with the community liaison committee in conjunction with recommendations from our consultants. If there are specific individuals who would like to have their well identified for possible additional baseline sampling they can forward their interest to us.
In the very unlikely event that our operation does impact the water quality or quantity Scotian would be responsible to correct the situation which may include such solutions as drilling a deeper well, drilling a new well and/or treatment of well water.
Question Which particular type of explosive product you would be using to blast?
Answer (updated Nov 10/16) Currently, all of the primary explosives products, planned to be used to load the blast holes in Goffs quarry will be Ammonium Nitrate based. The bulk and packaged emulsion products are jelly like and will not leach out into cracks in the rocks, which is environmentally preferable. These products are also considered booster sensitive, which means they are not easily detonated by means other than the proper initiation system. This makes accidental detonation most unlikely. The initiation systems are a combination of boosters (Cast Primers) manufactured using ingredients that are more easily detonated (Cap Sensitive). It is the detonation created by the booster that provides enough energy to detonate the base charge of packaged or bulk emulsion. There are no Nitroglycerin based products used in this type of operation.The boosters are initiated by a blasting cap (detonator). The types of detonators used in the quarry operations are one of the following: Non-electric Initiation system or Electronic Initiating system. Both of these systems are proven to be very safe to handle and are both considered not susceptible to initiation from electrical interference. Electric detonators, which are still available in the industry will not be used in the Goffs operation.
Question Will residents have advance notice of when blasts are scheduled and how would this information be communicated? Answer (updated Nov 10/16) We plan to give advanced notice to the community prior to blasting in addition to the normal safety procedures that are undertaken for blasting such as the horn blast sequence. We have not finalized what method we will use for advance community notification as it was our desire to work this out in consultation with the community through the community liaison committee that is planned. An initial suggestion is that we will have our blast schedule posted on our website or other form of social media.
Question Can you provide the specific details related to your proposed blasting operation?
Answer Scotian Materials Limited will follow the blasting requirements as set out in the Pits and Quarry Guidelines and the Blasting Safety Regulations under the NS Occupational Health and Safety Act which have been developed to protect the property and health and safety of all Nova Scotians.
All blasting at the Goffs Quarry will be undertaken by a certified blasting company who is knowledgeable of the governing regulations and safe blasting procedures. Scotian Materials has engaged Dyno Nobel, a world leader in blasting, to undertake the blasting in the Goffs Quarry.
Scotian Materials and Dyno in preparation for blasting identify all potential impacts of blasting which include but are not limited to, the HIAA, Nav Canada, Maritimes North East Pipeline, the NSTIR Weigh Scales, nearby buildings and structures and roads. A blast design is then created to ensure that the blast will not create a negative impact and comply with all governing legislation to ensure the protection of property and health and safety. During the blasting period signage, communication and the required safety procedures are undertaken to ensure that health and safety of persons performing the work and anyone in the general vicinity of the quarry is protected.
Question What are the rules and regulations for quarries under 4 hectares in Nova Scotia?
Answer Nova Scotia has well established rules and regulations for quarries which outline stringent regulations on a broad set of areas including noise, dust, water discharge and compliance reporting. A copy of the province's Pit and Quarry Guidelines can be found here.
Question Where will the quarry be located? Answer The proposed quarry is located in Goffs, Halifax County on PID 00505941 near Exit 5A on Hwy 102 and the Aerotech Industrial Park. The property has frontage on Perrin Drive to the east and it is bound by Highway 102 and Aerotech Drive to the northwest. A fencing company occupies a small portion of this land, with a short driveway to Perrin Drive connecting directly with Aerotech Drive.
Question What will be the impacts to the watershed and wetlands in the area? Answer Scotian Materials commissioned a number of field surveys across the properties purchased in the vicinity of the proposed quarry to support plans for various types of potential developments (e.g., commercial, residential, industrial). Surveys were conducted for wetlands and vegetation communities, surface water and fish / fish habitat, and wildlife. The boundary of the proposed quarry footprint was selected to avoid wetlands and watercourses and to optimize the resource available and access to it. As specified in the Pit and Quarry Guidelines (NSEL 1999), a 30 metre buffer will be maintained between the quarry footprint and all watercourses and wetlands identified. Surface water discharged from the site will be treated in a settling pond for removal of suspended sediment prior to discharge.
Scotian Materials has set up a wetland monitoring program to monitor these features on a regular and ongoing basis.
Question Will I be able to hear the quarry from my home?
Answer Noise from the quarry operation will not be heard by or impact the surrounding communities.
A noise monitoring program was conducted between August 4th and August 12th, 2012 to establish existing sound levels at three locations, including within the proposed project site. Sound level meters were used to collect the sound level data and establish the ambient conditions. The daytime, evening and night-time period average background sound levels during the monitoring period were calculated. At the time of survey, it was confirmed that sound levels at the monitoring locations were generally associated with Highway 102 traffic. Monitoring data generally shows that the ambient sound levels at the areas monitored are higher than the sound levels expected in a rural environment. This is attributed to the proximity to Highway 102 and the intermittent airport traffic.
Noise modelling was conducted in accordance with an internationally accepted standard for the prediction of noise outdoors (ISO 9613). To be conservative, attenuation from barriers (e.g., pit walls), ground effects (e.g., topography and vegetation), and air adsorption were not included in the modelling exercise. Also, preliminary noise predictions have been made assuming a downwind or moderate temperature inversion conditions, resulting in elevated predicted levels which is another conservative approach,
Based on the conservative noise modelling, it is expected that the noise levels from the proposed quarry would be below 40 dBA within 1,500m of the site operations and well within the limits indicated in the Pit and Quarry Guidelines. The noise level is similar to that of a quiet living room and would be well below the baseline noise levels measured in August 2012. To further minimize noise, the following mitigation will be implemented:
limit activities and traffic to the daytime hours, to the extent possible;
maintain vehicles and equipment regularly and adequately; and,
perform blasting during the day time only and, to the extent possible, at a regularly scheduled time.
Question Will blasting damage my house or foundation? Answer The NSE Pit and Quarry Guidelines (NSEL 1999) stipulate a variety of setbacks to prevent or minimize structural and environmental damage as well as the requirements for pre-blast surveys, blast monitoring, and blast designs. The setback between blasting for a quarry and structures is 800 m. Other than buildings owned by the Proponent (i.e., Maritime Fence), there are no structures within 800 m of the Project.
Question How is blasting regulated? Answer Blasting will be conducted in accordance the Pit and Quarry Guidelines (NSEL 1999) and the General Blasting Regulations made pursuant to the Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act (1996). A blast design plan will be developed for the proposed Project. Pre-blast surveys and blast monitoring will be conducted in accordance with the Pit and Quarry Guidelines (NSEL 1999). Noise monitoring will be conducted at the request of the relevant regulatory agencies.
Question Will blasting impact wastewater infrastructure at the Aerotech Business Park? Answer The potential for impacts from blasting at the proposed quarry to wastewater infrastructure in the Aerotech Business Park is extremely low, particularly given the distance (more than 2.0 km) and the regulatory requirements for blast design and blast monitoring.
Question Will blasting impact Robert St. in Schwartzwald? Answer The potential for impacts from blasting at the proposed quarry to structures in the Robert Street area (west of Highway 102) is extremely low, particularly given the distance (more than 2.5 km) and the regulatory requirements for blast design and blast monitoring.
Question How often and when will blasting occur? Answer Within the first two weeks there would be three blasts to establish the quarry face, after which it would be expected that blasting will occur 4 times per year dependent on market demands. Blasting would occur between 8:00am and 6:00pm Monday - Saturday, excluding statutory holidays. Every attempt will be made to perform blasts at reasonable hours midday and will be scheduled around inclement weather events such as temperature inversions.
Question How will my property values be impacted?
Answer Largely, it is the demand for residential properties which affects their value. Given that the Project area has included various forms of industrial activity for many years, including quarrying and forestry, the proposed Project will not significantly change the overall level of industrial activity compared with historic and current levels. As such, it is reasonable that the proposed Project is not expected to change property values in the area. Results from a 2015 study done by local real estate research firm Turner Drake & Partners Ltd. examined all MLS listed residential home sales in the Halifax area from 2004-2014 and concluded that there is no market evidence to suggest a pattern negative impact on residential house prices or pricing trends due to the proximity of a quarry in the city. In fact, single detached homes often sold for more inside 2km and 2-5km buffers from existing quarries as opposed to 5km away or further during this time. This report can be seen here.
Question Is the proximity to the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline a concern?
Answer Scotian Materials has contacted the owners/operators of the pipeline, Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline (M&NP), to inform them of our intention to develop a quarry and to identify the minimum setback from the pipeline for quarrying activity. M&NP responded indicating that the minimum setback would be 30 m. The pipeline is located over 190m to the east of the proposed development.
Scotian Materials will also be monitoring and reporting blasts results at the pipeline locations.
Question Is the proximity to the airport a concern?
Answer Scotian Materials has met with Transport Canada, NAV CANADA and the Halifax International Airport and have provided details of proposed operations and blasting in the quarry.
NAV CANADA has indicated that they have no objections to the project as submitted provided that Scotian Materials contacts the Halifax International Airport Control Tower for approval before each individual blast to ensure protection of aircraft conducting operations in and around the Halifax International Airport in accordance with Visual Flight Rules (VFR).
Scotian Materials and the Halifax International Airport Control Tower are formalizing a communication plan and agreement to fulfill this requirement.
Question How will the truck traffic impact my street?
Answer All quarry related traffic will access the site from the north via Exit 5A off Highway 102 and Aerotech Drive. There will be no quarry related traffic traveling south along Perrin Drive and through the subdivision.
Question Can the highway handle the truck traffic from the quarry?
Answer Although a detailed traffic study has not been conducted, it is reasonable to assume that existing traffic volumes on Highway 102 can accommodate the increase in truck traffic associated with the proposed Project without contributing in any significant way to traffic congestion, accidents or collisions.
Question Will surrounding communities be affected by dust from the operations?
Answer Given the distance between the quarry and the nearest sensitive receptors (~1,500 metres), it is expected that dust levels will be insignificant for a quarry following best management practices.
Dust emissions will be controlled with the application of water, obtained from the water that is pooled on the quarry floor or the settling pond. To minimize the generation of dust, the working areas will be covered with blasted rock and stockpiles of erodible material (ie. overburden and topsoil) will be stabilized with mulch and/or hydroseed. Dust generated by truck movement along the access road will be minimized by speed control, proper truck loading, application of dust suppressants, proper construction of on-site roads and/or other means.
Monitoring of airborne particulate emissions (dust) will be conducted at the request of NSE, in accordance with the Pit and Quarry Guidelines (NSEL 1999), the Nova Scotia Air Quality Regulations and the Industrial Approval, to be issued by NSE for the Project, and shall not exceed the following limits at the property boundaries:
annual Geometric Mean 70 μg/m3; and,
daily Average (24 hrs) 120 μg/m3.
Question What is the anticipated annual production of this quarry?
Answer The anticipated average annual production rate is 200,000 tonnes per year; with the possibility of limited periods of increased production, should significant awarded aggregate contracts dictate. Based on current estimates, there is over 1 million tonnes of rock reserves in the proposed footprint. Depending on market, operation of the quarry will take place over a period of 5 to 10 years.
Question Will there be an asphalt and ready mix (concrete) plant on the site?
Answer The NSE Industrial Approval application is solely for a quarry operation under 4 hectares.
In addition to this, Scotian Materials has also made a municipal planning application to amend the Municipal Planning Strategy to allow an asphalt plant and ready mix concrete plant to operate on this site (PID 00505941 - Case #19716).
Question Do you plan to expand the quarry?
Answer Any plans to expand the quarry beyond a 4Ha footprint would be subject to a new application, public consultation and a full Environmental Assessment. Any decision made in the future to pursue a larger operation would be subject to these conditions as well as market demand.
Question How much land do you own in the area?
Answer Scotian Materials owns over 743 acres in the Goffs area, which is zoned a combination of AE-4 and R1-B. A map of the lands and their zoning is shown below.
Question Are all of your lands intended to be used for a quarry?
Answer In the long term, Scotian Materials has developed a master plan for the entirety of the lands to utilize the current allowable as-of-right zoning which includes industrial and residential. In addition, Scotian Materials has designated a large portion of their lands to be protected as open space.
Question Will there be any future residential development near the quarry?
Answer Part of our land holdings in the area is zoned R1-B which allows as-of-right residential development. Scotian Materials has approval for a 13-lot subdivision along Perrin Dr. which will be developed as market demand increases.
Question Nova Scotia and Halifax have enough quarries. Why do we need more?
Answer There is a need for aggregate material to build our communities and the important economic benefits that aggregate resources provide.
While most communities are served by many smaller quarries, Halifax - Atlantic Canada's biggest aggregate market, has long been served by a small amount of large providers. Aggregates must be close to their intended markets to reduce environmental and transportation costs from excessive trucking and long-term sources must be diligently planned for. The proposed quarry in Goffs is an ideal location to provide the nearby communities with aggregates for the future supply of Halifax's growing needs.
Today’s mining and quarrying industry is a sophisticated, high tech business that is vital to our economy and way of life. You can’t build things like homes, roads, schools and hospitals without the materials we take from the ground.
Question What is the Community Liaison Committee and what will it do?
Answer A Community Liaison Committee (CLC) will be estalished to act as an advisory body to Scotian Materials by providing input on existing or potential concerns of the community with respect to the project plan and activities. The CLC will serve to represent community interests by providing an avenue for the mutual exchange of information between Scotian Materials and the community with respect to any existing or potential environmental effects of the project or planned activities. The Goffs Quarry CLC Terms of Reference can be seen in the document below
If you are interested in participating please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Question Is resource extraction an inconsistent use as per HRM's Municipal Planning Strategy and By-law?
Answer Quarry activities are consistent with adjacent industrial land uses (e.g., Envirosoil). The latest decision by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal on May 12th, 2015 indicated that the by-law in question is deemed invalid.
Question Will the proposed quarry impact my quality of life / enjoyment of my property?
Answer The potential impacts of the proposed quarry on quality of life and enjoyment of property relate to noise, dust, traffic, and visual aesthetics. Noise and dust have been addressed respectively in questions above. With respect to visual aesthetics, Scotian Materials conducted a viewscape simulation exercise using strategically placed scissor lifts to ascertain whether or not the quarry would be visible from the Miller Lake West Subdivision. Furthermore, a topographical survey of the area has been conducted and elevation profiles between the subdivision and the quarry have been prepared. The results of these indicate that the quarry will not likely be visible from the Miller Lake West Subdivision. Scotian Materials will maintain a treed barrier around the site, particularly on the west and southwest boundaries, bordering Highway 102 and surrounding communities, to ensure the quarry remains shielded from view. All setbacks indicated in the Pit and Quarry Guidelines (NSEL 1999) will be maintained. Scotian Materials maintains that all quarry related traffic will access the site from the north via Exit 5A of Highway 102 and Aerotech Drive. There will be no quarry traffic traveling south from the quarry along Perrin Drive.
Question Why not develop the quarry on lands designated for resource development east and northeast of the airport?
Answer It is acknowledged that HRM has designated lands to the east of the proposed Project for resource development. However, there is limited access to those lands and they are further from markets and transportation corridors such that commercial development is far less economical and more obtrusive to local traffic patterns. There is insufficient information available to confirm that the rock in those resource designated lands is of suitable quality for aggregate production.
Question Will the quarry impact the wildlife sanctuaries?
Answer The Waverly Salmon River Long Lake Wilderness Area is located approximately 1.3 km east of the proposed quarry and the Waverley Game Sanctuary is approximately 600 m east of the proposed quarry. The potential for interaction between these protected areas and the quarry is limited and unlikely given the distance between these protected areas and the Project.
Question Are there rare species (ie. wood turtle, atlantic salmon) in the quarry area?
Answer Wood turtles prefer slow-moving streams containing a sandy bottom and heavily vegetated banks. Atlantic salmon are found in the northern Atlantic Ocean and in rivers that flow into the north Atlantic. As there are no streams or wetlands in the proposed development area, it is unlikely that the proposed quarry will impact these species.
Question What will be the impacts to soil quality?
Answer All topsoil and overburden material will be stripped and stockpiled on site and stabilized against erosion for use during reclamation and rehabilitation. Potential impacts on soil quality are limited to accidental events. A Contingency and Emergency Plan in compliance with NSE regulations would be an integral party of the project's operating plan.
Question How will soil erosion/sedimentation control be enforced?
Answer Topsoil and overburden material will be stripped and stockpiled on site and stabilized against erosion for use during reclamation and rehabilitation. Surface water will be directed around the site to the extent possible. Surface water flowing through the site will be collected and treated (for removal of suspended sediment) in a settling pond prior to discharge offsite. The settling pond will be located at the southeast end of the site and will discharge onto adjacent lands owned by Scotian to the south east. Scotian Materials will operate the quarry in accordance with the Pit and Quarry Guidelines and all the Terms and Conditions of an Industrial Approval.
Question What will be the impacts from acid runoff / acid rock drainage?
Answer In the Halifax area, acid rock drainage is typically associated with slate which can be found within the Goldenville Formation; however, in the area of the Project, it appears to be predominantly quartzite. Should sulphide-bearing slate be encountered in the proposed Project footprint, sampling and analysis for acid-base accounting will be completed to determine the overall acid runoff capacity. Rock from the adjacent quarry has been historically used / suitable for highway construction and asphalt production.
Question How will the land be used after the quarry is closed?
Answer Upon decommissioning and final reclamation of the quarry lands, Scotian intends to prepare the lands from commercial development. Reclamation and rehabilitation will be determined in consultation with NSE and described in a Final Rehabilitation Plan to be provided with six months of the approval. Upon approval, Scotian Materials will provide the required interim security for the quarry as required by NSE. Final security shall be posted once the final rehabilitation plan has been reviewed and accepted by NSE.
Question Will there be a sufficient buffer between the proposed quarry and Highway 102?
Answer The quarry will be operated in accordance with the Pit and Quarry Guidelines (NSEL 1999) which includes maintaining setbacks from highways and roadways. The proposed footprint is approximately 315 m from Highway 102.
Question Will the proposed quarry impact the use of nearby lands by the Boy Scouts?
Answer Access to the Waverley Game Sanctuary for the Boy Scouts will not be affected by the quarry. Operation of the quarry is not anticipated to interact with Boy Scout activities on these lands or in the Miller Lake area.