OK Industries wants to build the quarry next to the Capital Regional District land, of which the acquifier sits underneath. This map was taken from the 2015 report for the rezoning application. (Photo courtesy District of Highlands)

OK Industries wants to build the quarry next to the Capital Regional District land, of which the acquifier sits underneath. This map was taken from the 2015 report for the rezoning application. (Photo courtesy District of Highlands)

Environment plan to be completed on proposed rock quarry

O.K. Industries sends letter to Highlands, local association

OK Industries Ltd., the company proposing to build a highly-controversial rock quarry in the District of Highlands, has agreed to complete an environmental management plan on the property.

According to a letter to the the District of Highlands and the local community association dated June 12, the Island-based company is voluntarily conducting the plan for the 66-acre property on Millstream Road to improve its understanding of the property and to explore the potential for a “viable operations plan with a smaller environmental footprint.”

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“It is our intention that through this work we will be able to address concerns that we have heard in your community,” said the letter.

“Our goal is to explore with the Highlands’ community a broader land-use plan for our property that considers the community’s interests, needs and concerns and still enables access to areas of aggregate necessary to sustain a viable business operation. We believe it’s possible to strike this important balance.”

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In 2016, Highlands council considered a rezoning application from the company that would have seen the site turned into an industrial park with some agricultural use, however, the rezoning was subsequently denied.

Recently, OK Industries applied to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources to add a quarry to the site.

RELATED: Association holds meeting to organize opposition against rock quarry

But the project hasn’t been without controversy. The Highlands District Community Association is strongly opposed to the proposal, saying the community’s ground water could be impacted as the aquifer lies partially beneath the site.

OK Industries hopes to have the reports and draft plan completed by the end of the year.


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kendra.wong@goldstreamgazette.com

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