Thunder Bay

Lappe, Ont., residents startled by blasting at nearby pit

​Some property owners in Lappe, Ont., north of Thunder Bay, were startled by a blast at a nearby gravel pit Wednesday morning.

Some property owners say they were not notified of the scheduled blasting

Lorne Taylor, who lives on Surprise Lake, says he was not notified ahead of time of the blasting, which took place Wednesday morning. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

Some property owners in Lappe, north of Thunder Bay, were startled by a blast at a nearby gravel pit Wednesday morning.

Taranis Contracting, which owns the pit, had a subcontractor doing the work.

Lorne Taylor, who lives on nearby Surprise Lake, said he felt the blast at about 10:30 a.m.

"The blast was huge. It certainly shook the house, the door vibrated. And, it was scary. There was a tremor, like, across the floor here of the house," he said.

Taylor said many people in the area were not told about the blasting — he found out about it from a neighbour.

He said some neighbours heard the explosion would take place from social media.

Some neighbours of the operation, including Taylor, have been working for nearly three years to halt the operation. They hope the province will change its rules so that pits in unorganized townships, like the one owned by Taranis Contracting, are included in regulations.

Right now, there are no specific rules governing gravel pits in unorganized areas. The pit near Taylor's home on Surprise Lake is not properly zoned, and the Lakehead Rural Planning Board has not enforced the zoning.

"We were very hopeful that the blasting would not take place. But during the last week, we found that there was some drilling towards the end of the week. We knew that drilling would lead to blasting," said Taylor.

Taylor says he hopes the province speeds up its review of the Aggregate Resources Act, and includes unorganized areas in its rules.

More blasting could take place later this week or next week.

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