Aggregates Policy Paper

20160602_120011

Download the Aggregates Policy Paper.

Background

Mineral aggregates are essential resources which are needed to build and maintain our communities, including our homes, roads, and places of work. Aggregates are a necessary component required to extend and repair infrastructure, which will support growing communities such as Adjala-Tosorontio. Ensuring the protection and availability of mineral aggregate resources is a key provincial interest. The Province also has an interest in maintaining a supply of aggregate resources close to markets, which can reduce transportation costs and potential social and environmental impacts associated with pits and quarries. Pit and quarry developments are considered interim land uses, and lands must be rehabilitated after extraction has ceased. The Aggregate Resources Act (ARA) works in concert with other provincial policies, legislation, and associated regulations to regulate aggregate resource development and operations, through licensing and site planning.

The development of provincial policies to identify and protect mineral aggregate resources began decades ago, and now the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) currently guides municipal planning for aggregate resources. The PPS clearly requires that mineral aggregate resources shall be protected and identified (where Provincial information is available), and that progressive and final rehabilitation shall be required, recognizing the interim nature of extraction.

Applications are required concurrently under the ARA and Planning Act for new or expanded aggregate operations. Approvals under other legislation, such as the Endangered Species Act and Ontario Water Resources Act, may be required depending on the nature of the proposed development. The Township will require an Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment to permit extraction. If approved, the pit or quarry will operate under a license in accordance with the provisions of a detailed site plan under the ARA. Once operations have ceased, rehabilitation is required to accommodate subsequent land uses and mitigate impacts to the extent possible.

The County of Simcoe provides policies to guide planning for aggregates at the local municipal level. It requires that local Official Plans “shall contain policies to address the mineral aggregate resource policies of the Plan, including policies regarding the establishment/expansion, prohibition or location of pits and quarries and associated activities and policies with criteria to establish a clear and appropriate mechanism to permit new or expanded pits and quarries.” (County of Simcoe Official Plan 4.10.7).

The Township of Adjala-Tosorontio currently shows two land uses designations on its Official Plan Schedules, which are Protected Aggregate Resources and Licensed Pit. The current Official Plan provides policies which outline permitted uses in the Protected Aggregate Resource designation, including the quarrying and extraction of gravel, sand and other aggregate material. The associated operations of processing by crushing,

screening and washing and the storage of processed aggregate material may be permitted, if judged to be compatible with surrounding land uses. Agriculture, forestry, and conservation uses are permitted.

Proposed Objectives

The following objectives are those which are being considered for the new Township of Adjala-Tosorontio Official Plan. They have been developed through an examination of existing Official Plan objectives and principles, review of the Adjala-Tosorontio Community-Based Strategic Plan, and input received from council, the public, agencies, and municipal staff.

To identify and protect mineral aggregate resources for long term use

To ensure availability of mineral aggregate resources as close to markets as possible

To ensure that extraction is undertaken in a manner which minimizes social, economic, and environmental impacts

To protect mineral aggregate operations from development and activities that would preclude or hinder their expansion or continued use

To ensure that progressive and final rehabilitation in accordance with the Aggregate Resources Act will: accommodate subsequent land uses, promote land use compatibility, recognize the interim nature of extraction, and mitigate negative impacts to the extent possible

Proposed Policies

The following policies are those which are being considered for the new Township of Adjala-Tosorontio Official Plan. They have been developed through:

  • Reviewing existing Official Plan policies and updating them to comply with new provincial and county policy requirements
  • Input received from council, the public, agencies, and municipal staff

Policies that have been strictly mandated by the province or county appear in bold whereas those that have been municipally derived appear in plain text.

Protected Aggregate Resources Designation

Mineral aggregate resources shall be protected for long-term use and, where provincial information is available, deposits of mineral aggregate resources shall be identified. As much of the mineral aggregate resources as is realistically possible shall be made available as close to markets as possible. Demonstration of need for mineral aggregate resources, including any type of supply/demand analysis, shall not be required, notwithstanding the availability, designation or licensing for extraction of mineral aggregate resources locally or elsewhere. (PPS 2.5.1 & 2.5.2.1 & County of Simcoe Official Plan 4.4.2)

Licensed mineral aggregate operations shall be protected from development and activities that would preclude or hinder their expansion or continued use or which would be incompatible for reasons of public health, public safety or environmental impact. (PPS 2.5.2.4 & County of Simcoe Official Plan 4.4.3)

Location and Definition

The Protected Aggregate Resources overlay designation includes areas of primary or secondary aggregate resources as shown on Schedules X to X of this Plan, that are to be protected for long-term use. (Township Official Plan 4.8.1.2)

Permitted Uses

In areas adjacent to or in lands included in the Protected Aggregate Resource overlay designation as shown on Schedule X, development for alternate land uses in accordance with other polices of this Plan may be permitted where: it would not preclude or hinder the establishment of new operations or access to the resources; utilization of the resource is not feasible because of natural physical or existing man-made constraints; or the proposal serves a greater long-term public interest; and, provided any issues of public health, public safety and environmental impact are addressed. (PPS 2.5.2.5 & County of Simcoe 4.4.4)

Suitable uses in areas of high aggregate potential include those related to other resources found in the area such as agriculture, forestry operations, and other resource-related developments, as well as public utility installations, if their siting does not preclude or hinder aggregate development. (PPS 2.5.2.5 & County of Simcoe 4.4.4)

Existing mineral aggregate operations shall be permitted to continue without the need for official plan amendment, rezoning or development permit under the Planning Act. (PPS 2.5.2.5 & County of Simcoe 4.4.4)

Licensed Pit Designation

Location and Definition

The Licensed Pit designation includes lands that are licensed under the Aggregate Resources Act as shown on Schedules X to X of this Plan. (Township Official Plan 4.8.1.1)

Permitted Uses

Licenced mineral aggregate operations in accordance with approved site plans.

Concrete plants are permitted as an accessory use to a licensed mineral aggregate operation in the Licensed Pit designation on a property with a minimum lot area of 20 hectares, subject to the following:

(a) the concrete plant is a non-permanent use and will cease to operate as part of the rehabilitation of the site and surrender of license under the Aggregate Resources Act;

(b) the site must be located on and have direct access to a paved road;

(c) The Township is satisfied that the location proposed is appropriate, that the natural environment and adjacent properties will not be negatively impacted by any dust, noise or vibrations, that the quality and quantity of the water source for surrounding properties will not be negatively impacted, and that appropriate screening is provided (Township Official Plan 4.8.2.1 & 4.8.10)

Mineral Aggregate Resources and Development Policies

Applications for New Mineral Aggregate Operations and Development

An amendment to this Plan is required to permit the development of new or expanded mineral aggregate operations in accordance with the Aggregate Resources Act.

An application to amend the Official Plan to allow an new aggregate development shall meet the following requirements:

(a) The proposed use must be compatible with the adjoining agricultural operations and existing residential land uses and that the applicant must demonstrate that they have established the necessary measures required to mitigate any negative impacts;

(b) That consideration is given to the proposed haul routes, including the standard of construction and traffic volume in regard to compatibility with road traffic and communities;

(c) That the proposed development will not impact on the natural environment including the quality and quantity of ground and surface water; and

(d) That the proposal can meet all of the requirements of the Township, Ministry of Natural Resources, Conservation Authorities, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and any other applicable government agency. (Township Official Plan 4.8.4.2)

(e) That the proposed extractive operation will generally be restricted to areas that can be effectively screened from public view in order to preserve the scenic beauty and the rural nature of the environment or that can be effectively screened by berms and/or other landscaping measures from adjoining residential uses or adjacent public roads.

Council may require the submission of studies paid for by the applicant and prepared by qualified professionals addressing all requirements of the official plan including:

  • The preservation of the character of the environment;
  • The traffic volume on local roads;
  • Any possible effect on the water table or surface drainage pattern;
  • The nature and location of other land uses that could be affected by the pit or quarry operation; and
  • The character, location and size of nearby communities.

The proposed extractive operation(s) and/or wayside pit(s) shall minimize the impact on the ecological functions and hydrological features for lands located on the Oak Ridges Moraine. (Township Official Plan 4.8.5.1)

Mineral aggregate operations shall minimize impacts to adjacent or nearby uses by reason of dust, noise, effects on water table and quantity or other effects from mining activities or transportation of aggregates. (PPS 2.5.2.2 & County of Simcoe Official Plan 4.4.6)

New mineral aggregate operations shall be located according to the following criteria:

(i) Shall not be located in significant wetlands or significant coastal wetlands;

(ii) Shall not be permitted in significant woodlands, unless the woodland is occupied by young plantation or early successional habitat, as defined by the Province (Proposed Growth Plan 4.2.8.3)

(iii) Shall not be located in significant valleylands, significant wildlife habitat, significant areas of natural and scientific interest, and coastal wetlands unless it has been demonstrated that there will be no negative impacts on the natural features or their ecological functions;

(iii) Shall not be permitted in fish habitat except in accordance with provincial and federal requirements;

(iv) Shall not be permitted in habitat of endangered species and threatened species, except in accordance with provincial and federal requirements;

(v) Shall not be permitted on adjacent lands to the natural heritage features and areas identified above unless the ecological function of the adjacent lands has been evaluated and it has been demonstrated that there will be no negative impacts on the natural features or on their ecological functions; and

(vii) Within the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan area, shall be permitted in the Natural Linkage Area and Countryside Area Designations identified on Schedule X, and be subject to the policies of Section X and the provisions of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan.

In assessing negative impact, proposed mitigation measures, rehabilitation and ecological enhancements, if any, shall be considered. (County of Simcoe Official Plan 4.4.1)

Within the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan area, existing and new mineral aggregate operations and wayside pits shall comply with the provisions of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, particularly Sections 35 and 36. (County of Simcoe Official Plan 4.4.13) Lands currently used for mineral aggregate operations located on the Oak Ridges Moraine in the Natural Core Area designation are not permitted to expand beyond the boundary of the area under license or permit.

New Mineral Aggregate Operations Shall Require a Zoning Amendment

An amendment to the Zoning By-law is required to permit the development of new or expanded mineral aggregate operations in accordance with the Aggregate Resources Act. Prior to passing an amendment to the zoning by-law, the Township shall require submission of a site plan and rehabilitation plan in accordance with the Aggregate Resources Act. (Township Official Plan 4.8.5.2)

Mineral Aggregate Conservation and Recycling

The Township encourages and supports the conservation of mineral aggregate resources, including:

a) the recovery and recycling of manufactured materials derived from mineral aggregate resources for reuse in construction, manufacturing, industrial or maintenance projects as a substitute for new mineral aggregate resources; and

b) the wise use of mineral aggregate resources, including utilization or extraction of on-site mineral aggregate resources prior to development occurring. (Proposed Growth Plan 4.2.8.2)

Mineral aggregate resource conservation shall be undertaken, including through the use of accessory aggregate recycling facilities within operations, wherever feasible. (PPS 2.5.2.3)

Site Plan Revisions

Any subsequent proposed changes to the site plan after the license has been issued may be circulated by the Ministry of Natural Resources to the Township for comment. The Ministry may discuss these comments with the Township prior to approval being granted. (Township Official Plan 4.8.8.1)

Rehabilitation

Progressive and final rehabilitation shall be required to accommodate subsequent land uses, to promote land use compatibility, to recognize the interim nature of extraction, and to mitigate negative impacts to the extent possible. Final rehabilitation shall take surrounding land use and approved land use designations into consideration. (PPS 2.5.3.1 & County of Simcoe Official Plan 4.4.7)

Comprehensive rehabilitation planning is encouraged where there is a concentration of mineral aggregate operations. (PPS 2.5.3.2)

When operators are undertaking rehabilitation of mineral aggregate operation sites, the following apply:

a) the disturbed area of a site will be rehabilitated to a state of equal or greater ecological value and, for the entire site, long-term ecological integrity will be maintained or restored and, to the extent possible, improved;

b) if there are key hydrologic features or key natural heritage features on the site, or if such features existed on the site at the time of the application:

i. the health, diversity and size of these key hydrologic features and key natural heritage features will be maintained, restored or, where possible, enhanced; and

ii. any permitted extraction of mineral aggregate resources that occurs in a feature will be completed, and the area will be rehabilitated, as early as possible in the life of the operation.

c) aquatic areas remaining after extraction are to be rehabilitated to aquatic enhancement, which shall be representative of the natural ecosystem in that particular setting or ecodistrict, and the combined terrestrial and aquatic rehabilitation shall meet the intent of policy b) above; and

d) outside the natural heritage system identified by the Province, and except as provided in policies a), b) and c) above, final rehabilitation will appropriately reflect the long-term land use of the general area, taking into account applicable policies of this Plan and, to the extent permitted under this Plan, existing municipal and provincial policies. In prime agricultural areas, on prime agricultural lands, the site will be rehabilitated back to an agricultural condition, in accordance with policy 2.5.4 of the PPS, 2014. (Proposed Growth Plan 4.2.8.5)

Final rehabilitation for new mineral aggregate operations in the natural heritage system identified by the Province will meet these additional criteria:

a) where there is no underwater extraction, an amount of land equal to that under natural vegetated cover prior to extraction, and no less than 35 per cent of the land subject to each license in the natural heritage system, is to be rehabilitated to forest cover, which shall be representative of the natural ecosystem in that particular setting or ecodistrict;

b) where there is underwater extraction, no less than 35 per cent of the non-aquatic portion of the land subject to each license in the natural heritage system is to be rehabilitated to forest cover, which shall be representative of the natural ecosystem in that particular setting or ecodistrict; and

c) rehabilitation will be implemented so that the connectivity of the key hydrologic features and the key natural heritage features on the site and on adjacent lands will be maintained or restored and, to the extent possible, improved. (Proposed Growth Plan 4.2.8.6)

Extraction in Prime Agricultural Areas

In prime agricultural areas, applications for new mineral aggregate operations will be supported by an agricultural impact assessment and, where possible, will seek to maintain or improve connectivity of the agricultural system. (Proposed Growth Plan 4.2.8.4)

In prime agricultural areas, on prime agricultural land, extraction of mineral aggregate resources is permitted as an interim use provided that the site will be rehabilitated back to an agricultural condition whereby substantially the same areas and same average soil quality for agriculture are restored. On these prime agricultural lands, complete rehabilitation to an agricultural condition is not required if:

(a) there is a substantial quantity of mineral aggregate resources below the water table warranting extraction, or;

(b) the depth of planned extraction in a quarry makes restoration of pre-extraction agricultural capability unfeasible;

(c) other alternatives have been considered by the applicant and found unsuitable. The consideration of other alternatives shall include resources in areas of Canada Land Inventory Class 4 through 7 lands, resources on lands identified as designated growth areas, and resources on prime agricultural lands where rehabilitation is feasible. Where no other alternatives are found, prime agricultural lands shall be protected in this order of priority: specialty crop areas, Canada Land Inventory Class 1, 2 and 3 lands; and

(d) agricultural rehabilitation in remaining areas is maximized. (PPS 2.5.4.1 & County of Simcoe 4.4.11)

Wayside Pits and Quarries, Portable Asphalt Plants and Portable Concrete Plants

Wayside pits and quarries, portable asphalt plants and portable concrete plants used on public authority contracts shall be permitted, without the need for an official plan amendment, rezoning, or development permit under the Planning Act in all land use designations, except in the Greenlands designation and Environmental Protection designation which are subject to Section X. Progressive rehabilitation to their prior capability as natural heritage or agriculture, if applicable, should be achieved. Notwithstanding the above, within the area of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, mineral aggregate operations and wayside pits are permitted in the Natural Linkage Area and

Countryside Areas designations as shown on Schedule X. Portable asphalt plants within areas licensed under the Aggregate Resources Act are also permitted in these designations. (PPS 2.5.5.1 & County of Simcoe Official Plan 4.4.9)

Proposed Definitions

Areas of mineral potential: means areas favourable to the discovery of mineral deposits due to geology, the presence of known mineral deposits or other technical evidence. Areas of mineral potential are identified using accepted scientific methodology. (PPS, 2014 & County of Simcoe OP)

Comprehensive rehabilitation: means rehabilitation of land from which mineral aggregate resources have been extracted that is coordinated and complementary, to the extent possible, with the rehabilitation of other sites in an area where there is a high concentration of mineral aggregate operations. (PPS, 2014)

Deposits of mineral aggregate resources: means an area of identified mineral aggregate resources, as delineated in Aggregate Resource Inventory Papers or comprehensive studies prepared using evaluation procedures established by the Province for surficial and bedrock resources, as amended from time to time, that has a sufficient quantity and quality to warrant present or future extraction. (PPS, 2014)

Mineral aggregate operation: means a) lands under license or permit, other than for wayside pits and quarries, issued in accordance with the Aggregate Resources Act; b) for lands not designated under the Aggregate Resources Act, established pits and quarries that are not in contravention of municipal zoning by-laws and including adjacent land under agreement with or owned by the operator, to permit continuation of the operation; and c) associated facilities used in extraction, transport, beneficiation, processing or recycling of mineral aggregate resources and derived products such as asphalt and concrete, or the production of secondary related products. (PPS, 2014 & County of Simcoe OP)

Mineral aggregate resource conservation: means a) the recovery and recycling of manufactured materials derived from mineral aggregates (e.g. glass, porcelain, brick, concrete, asphalt, slag, etc.), for re-use in construction, manufacturing, industrial or maintenance projects as a substitute for new mineral aggregates; and b) the wise use of mineral aggregates including utilization or extraction of on-site mineral aggregate resources prior to development occurring. (PPS, 2014)

Mineral aggregate resources: means gravel, sand, clay, earth, shale, stone, limestone, dolostone, sandstone, marble, granite, rock or other material prescribed under the Aggregate Resources Act suitable for construction, industrial, manufacturing and maintenance purposes but does not include metallic ores, asbestos, graphite, kyanite, mica, nepheline syenite, salt, talc, wollastonite, mine tailings or other material prescribed under the Mining Act. (PPS, 2014 & County of Simcoe OP)

Mineral deposits: means areas of identified minerals that have sufficient quantity and quality based on specific geological evidence to warrant present or future extraction. (PPS, 2014 & County of Simcoe OP)

Mineral mining operation: means mining operations and associated facilities, or, past producing mines with remaining mineral development potential that have not been permanently rehabilitated to another use. (PPS, 2014)

Minerals: means metallic minerals and nonmetallic minerals as herein defined, but does not include mineral aggregate resources or petroleum resources. Metallic minerals means those minerals from which metals (e.g. copper, nickel, gold) are derived. Non-metallic minerals means those minerals that are of value for intrinsic properties of the minerals themselves and not as a source of metal. They are generally synonymous with industrial minerals (e.g. asbestos, graphite, kyanite, mica, nepheline syenite, salt, talc, and wollastonite). (PPS, 2014 & County of Simcoe OP)

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