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.”
“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.”
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.
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.