May 19, 2017

Donald Furniss –
David Pink –
Ruth-Ellen Nishikawa –
Sandy Currie –
Donelda Hayes –
Allen Edwards –
Linda Barrick-Spearn –
Gault McTaggart –
Phil Harding –
Jean-Ann Baranik –
Terry Ledger –
Jack Hepworth –
Rod Osborne –
Re: Proposed Lippa Pit and Quarry


Skeleton Lake is very unique in many respects. It is the cleanest lake in the region with exceptionally clear contaminant free water. This is due to several factors. The most important is the fact that it is the only lake in the region with a limestone shell bottom. A geology/geomorphology professor, Michael W. Milner (now retired) has studied the region from north of Lake Simcoe through Muskoka to North Bay extensively. This region has numerous meteorite impact craters. According to Mr Milner these impacts have fractured the mantle and allowed mercury to leach through the fissures into the lakes. MNR studies have shown that fish taken from the surrounding lakes have very high mercury contamination due to this fact. Skeleton Lake is the only lake in the region that has a limestone shell bottom which protects it from mercury contamination. Also, being at the top of the water shed, other contaminated surrounding lakes do not empty into Skeleton Lake. Skeleton Lake is the only lake with clean water and no mercury contamination.

Effect of the proposed quarry

Mr. Milner explained the effect of high volume quarrying. Removal of high volumes (mass) of stone in a confined area creates a differential pressure in the earths crust. Often “pop ups” occur as the pressure tries to balance itself. The stress created is particularly important in the area of impact craters where fissures already abound. Compounding the problem is the effect of blasting. Shock waves bounce off the fissures and cause them to refracture, thus opening the pathway for mercury contamination. This allows mercury to enter the ground water which drains into Skeleton Lake. The effect of blasting may also crack the limestone shell and allow direct mercury infiltration to Skeleton Lake. The water source for the proposed quarry is stream water indicating that surface water mercury contamination is extremely likely. Mr. Milner indicated that there are many remote areas more suitable for quarrys in the region.

The proposed quarry on Aspdin Road is so dangerously close it poses a direct threat to Skeleton Lake as well as the residents in the area. Blasting shock waves from quarry operations travel great distances through bed rock (witness such damage done to homes near the Hutcheson Sand and Gravel quarry near Aspdin Road/ Ceasars Lane). The direct effect on aquatic life may be catastrophic. More research needs to be done to determine the effects of shock waves on aquatic life. There are many residential water wells in the area which will be affected by shock waves and mercury contamination from blasting, not to mention the devastating effects on the foundations and structures of residential buildings in the area. Mr Pippa is wrong when he says there are no significant buildings in the area. My home on Aspdin Road is a significant stone structure of 5000 sq.ft with a value in excess of three million dollars and it is within shock wave distance from the proposed quarry. Peoples homes are their castles and none can be treated as trivial in order to justify unacceptable behaviour by someone who wants to profit at their expense.

The blasting is not the only source of shock waves. Imagine the vibration and noise from 140 heavy trucks travelling the same route in front of your home EACH DAY!!! Not only would this disrupt and endanger normal travellers and wildlife but affect our QUALITY OF LIFE. Aspdin Road is a windy, hilly road. It is dangerous at the best of times with normal traffic but heavy trucks in a hurry rarely stay in their own lane when negotiating these winding corners. Allowing such traffic on Aspdin Road WILL result in deadly crashes. Residents live in this area because of the clean air, quiet and serenity here. Our elected representatives have a sworn duty to represent those who have elected them, not those trying to harm us. It would be a travesty to allow the quarry to proceed at the express wishes against it by those who will be affected by it simply to put profits into the pocket of the owner without any perceptible benefit to anyone else and great trauma to the residents and ecosystem and the Muskoka way of life. The meagre benefit to the area of a maximum of 4 to 6 hourly paid employees it takes to operate a quarry does not warrant the ruin of our ecosystem and tranquility of the residents lives.

The values of our homes will plummet as will our quality of life. The effects on tourism and cost of road repair are unacceptable.


John Alanko
Utterson, ON



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