The battle over the proposed quarry in Faraday is continuing even as the planning for it continues to move forward.

Professor Sharon Cowling, a tenured Earth Science Professor at the University of Toronto, says that she’s found problems through work she’s done with one of her graduate students. Cowling was one of the residents that spoke out against the quarry during the public meeting on September 30th. Cowling says she found fissures in the rock on properties next to where blasting could be taking place. The proposed area for the quarry is between Bay Lake and Highway 62. She says if blasting takes place where those rocks are, serious damage could occur. “Having (Highway) 62 flooded out is a mild consequence,” she says. Brian Zeman, the President of MHBC Planning disagrees, saying that it was looked at in multiple different ways, including the review that was done by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. He adds that the Ministry of Environment, peer reviewers from the County and Township as well as the professional association of Geo-Scientists also reviewed and agreed with the MNRF’s findings.

Cowling says she isn’t blaming them for missing these things. “They don’t have a PhD, I do,” she says. “These decisions were made with someone of my integrity and knowledge telling them they’re making a mistake and they went ahead and did it anyway,” Cowling adds. “The experts that have been hired to do the work are extremely qualified in their area of expertise,” Zeman says in response to Cowling. He continues, “I am very comfortable with the project team and the quality of the review that has been undertaken.”

Cowling says an accident will occur at the quarry. “We’re not talking within 10 years, we’re talking within five years,” she says. She continues, “if there’s an accident, it’s not just Faraday that’s paying for it, it’s Bancroft.” Zeman says that detailed monitoring will be done throughout the operation to measure water quantity and quality. “With those measures taking place and permits and the approvals that have to be complied with, I’m confident that all the protective measures are in place to ensure water resources are protected,” he says.

Despite her concerns over the quarry, Cowling did say the meeting was a positive one. She said every point she wanted to hear more about was made. “I thought it was a very balanced meeting,” she said. “We were pleased to see the interest from the community,” Zeman said. He added he appreciated hearing everyone’s views on the quarry.