Nova Scotia

Firm wants fresh start on controversial Nova Scotia quarry project

The company behind a controversial quarry proposal in the Fall River, N.S., area says it is dropping a legal review of the province's decision to revoke its operating permit so it can focus on a new application for the same project.

Scotian Materials had province's project approval overturned in 2015

The proposed quarry has been a point of contention for years. (Stop the Fall River Quarry)

The company behind a controversial quarry proposal in the Fall River, N.S., area says it is abandoning a judicial review of the province's decision to revoke its operating permit so it can focus on a new application for the same project.

Robert MacPherson, president of Scotian Materials, said Friday his company has reached an agreement with the government to no longer pursue a judicial review of a 2015 decision by Andrew Younger, who was environment minister at the time.

Younger revoked an operating permit that had been granted two months earlier due to a lack of adequate public consultation.

The proposed quarry, southwest of the Aerotech Business Park, has been unpopular with the local community. People have been fighting the project since 2011, fearing damage to local watersheds.

'The right thing to do'

MacPherson said in a statement the company submitted a new application to the Environment Department last January that it hopes will be evaluated "based on science, evidence and the rule of law."

The company determined it was no longer necessary to move forward with a judicial review.

"Scotian Materials therefore felt that the right thing to do was to not take up any more of the time and resources from the court, the government and the community in proceeding further with this legal review," the statement said.

MacPherson said the company has done more for the proposed quarry than any other quarry of similar size in the province, including holding a two-day open house and allowing people to ask questions through its website.

"It's the degree of study — it's much more in-depth analysis than the previous application," he told CBC News, adding the company went "above and beyond" to "make sure no questions were left unanswered."

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