Quarry response

Business owner provides information on his gravel operation in Spallumcheen

I am writing in response to an article published May 8 in The Morning Star. The quarry referred to is mine. It is a fully licensed quarry and is 100 per cent compliant with its licensing restrictions and all Mines Act regulations.

Rock extraction and limited processing are also permitted by the municipal zoning bylaws that apply to the quarry site, which is zoned large holdings. Putting those facts to one side, the story neglects to mention the fact that no blasting has occurred at the quarry since December 2015 and rock crushing has occurred¬† three days so far this year. The so-called problems associated with rock crushing, identified as “inappropriate noise” and “clouds of dust” have no basis in reality with respect to my extremely small operation, where the crushing equipment is silent the vast bulk of the time.

We are strictly regulated by the Ministry of Energy for the region, which periodically visits the site to monitor and enforce safety issues. Under the Mines Act, no one else has jurisdiction over quarry inspection. On one occasion, an accident was narrowly averted when the municipal bylaw officer was sent to visit the site and parked her vehicle behind an operational piece of heavy equipment.

There have been communications between my lawyer and Spallumcheen’s lawyer, in which I have very clearly expressed by willingness and efforts to work within the bylaws. The reports of “non-compliance” are unfair and incorrect.

It has been my understanding that news reporters had an obligation to report stories without being tainted by bias. No effort that I know of was made to contact me and obtain my reply to these claims.

Bruce Schartner, owner

Bee-Jay’s Excavating

 

Vernon Morning Star

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