Kitchener-Waterloo

Paris gravel pit water-taking appeal hears final arguments

An environmental review tribunal will hear closing statements today in a case that has galvanized the people of Paris.

Concerned Citizens of Brant say they are 'not convinced we are going to be safe'

The Concerned Citizens of Brant raised $80,000 to pay for this tribunal appealing the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change's decision to give Dufferin Aggregates its water-taking permit. (Mark Staplehurst/Jane & Jury)

An environmental review tribunal will hear closing statements today in a case that has galvanized the people of Paris.

In December, the Concerned Citizens of Brant challenged a provincial decision to give Dufferin Aggregates the right to take ground water for use in its quarry.

The group says Dufferin Aggregates wants to take too much water, and that the company's use of that water could endanger an important aquifer that provides some of the town's drinking water.

"There is a big question mark about whether or not they have done the proper science, whether they've done due diligence here, and that's what we want as a result.

We want the science to demonstrate that we're safe before they go any further," Ron Norris, a member of the concerned citizens group, told CBC K-W.

The residents feel the gravel pit operations could cause chemicals, including the herbicide Atrazine, to seep into their water table. According to Concerned Citizens of Brant, Atrazine has been sprayed at the gravel pit for the past 40 years.

I am not convinced that we are going to be safe- Ron Norris, Concerned Citizens of Brant

Norris said he's not against the gravel pit itself, he just wants to know its use of the water won't hurt his family.

"Often we're told, you know, 'Oh, everything is going to be okay, don't worry.' Well, you know, we've been digging in this science for four years and I can tell you I am not convinced that we are going to be safe," said Norris.

Closing statements began at the Brant County council chambers at 10 a.m. this morning. It's not known when the tribunal will make its final decision on Dufferin Aggregates' water-taking permit.

With files from the CBC's Melanie Ferrier