A rock quarry project in a rural community near Kelowna faces opposition from area residents.
This week, residents of the Joe Rich community held informal “briefings” regarding the career proposal off Highway 33.
The quarry, opposing residents say, will not only create traffic problems but environmental problems as well, claiming the site is not far from Mission Creek.
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âThey haven’t contacted any of the community members,â Joe Rich resident Kristy Rempel told Global News.
âThe career that takes place is next to many residents. It’s a 75 acre proposal and they want to blow up and crush rocks for the next 40 years.
According to Westridge, there is a growing demand for quality crushed aggregates.
In fact, Westridge published a 14-page information package which can be viewed here.
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Stating that it purchased the site in December 2020, Westridge said that âthe quarry is on undeveloped land, next to a main highway, easily accessible, close to the market, in a rural area, sheltered from manholes, and contains quality rock resources; an optimal location.
âThe goal of the Joe Rich Quarry is to provide communities in the central Okanagan with quality aggregate at a lower economic, social and environmental cost than the current market has to offer. “
The quarry, however, faces opposition not only from some area residents, but also from the Black Mountain Irrigation District (BMID).
In a letter to the Ministry of Mines which can be viewed here, BMID said its water treatment facilities were located downstream from the site – about 130 meters below and 500 meters south along Mission Creek.
BMID said, “The quarry is proposed above the sensitive silt cliff slopes in the Mission Creek Canyon Corridor.”
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He also said, âBMID can appreciate the need in our region for high quality aggregates. We can also appreciate the amount of work required to set up, develop and operate a quarry.
âWe are strongly opposed to the development of this site due to the location and proximity to our community water supply system. “
BMID said that not far from the proposed site are unstable silt slopes and that “there have been many slope failures which have affected BMID’s water supply over the past century.”
The province’s Ministry of Energy and Mines will have the final say in approving the project. However, the proposed career will still be discussed locally.
The Central Okanagan Regional District announced it will discuss the career at its board meeting on June 10.
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The RDCO says that while the province will have the final say, its decision will provide input to the ministry.
Notably, the regional district says the June 10 board meeting will be closed to the public, but those who are for or against the career can bring their thoughts to the ministry, the applicant and the RDCO.
Global News has contacted Westridge.
Rempel said she has lived in Joe Rich for the past four years, noting that there has been an outburst in the area recently.
âIf you start blowing rocks you can’t tell me that on an unstable mountainside it’s going to help,â said Rempel, who lives a mile from the proposed site.
âI am not against the industry; I don’t think anyone here is. It’s just the location. They have to find a better location for it.
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