World-renowned chef threatened by proposed gravel pit

    SINGHAMPTON, ON, Feb. 26 /CNW/ - The lifestyle of top Canadian chef
Michael Stadtlander and an entire agricultural community are threatened by a
proposed aggregate pit and the environmental contamination residents fear it
will bring.
    Durham Stone and Paving Inc. has applied for a license to operate a
gravel pit on Concession 10 in Grey Highlands. Local residents fear that
increased noise, dust, and truck traffic and the potential contamination of
waterways will degrade their idyllic, rural, agricultural community.
    "The image we present to the rest of the province doesn't include more
multi-axle heavy industrial trucks thundering past our front gate!" said
Michael Stadtlander, one of Canada's best chefs. His restaurant, situated on
the same concession road as the proposed gravel pit, is considered one of the
10 best restaurants in the world by the London-based "Restaurant Magazine". A
highly respected landmark contributor to agro-tourism in the region, it
focuses on using locally grown and sourced ingredients, taking advantage of
some of the best and most fertile farmland in Canada.
    Dust, noise, and congestion are already problems on the municipal road
due to several other gravel pits and spring water companies operating in the
    "They want to take out 500,000 tons of gravel per year, working 12 hours
a day and 6 days a week. So, based on them using a 23 ton truck, we realized
that would mean a truck driving down that road every 5 minutes," said John
Hood, who has farmed in Grey Highlands for 35 years and lives next to the
proposed site. "It's going to absolutely overwhelm the rural community and add
to the commercialization of the area."
    Many are also concerned about potential water contamination due to the
proposed site's proximity to the Beaver River and many ecologically-sensitive
wet lands. The area exhibits incredible biodiversity, currently supporting
many sensitive species including deer, fox, migratory birds, a rare species of
woodpecker, coyote, wild turkey, muskrat, and beaver. There is even a colony
of ancestral turtles that crosses the concession each spring to lay their eggs
in wetlands to the north.
    "There is no doubt that further industrialization of this area would have
a direct, harmful impact on the natural habitat, its attendant wildlife as
well as the people and businesses that play a vital role in Grey County's
renowned agro-tourism and culture" asserts Stadtlander. Gravel pits have also
been previously associated with introducing contaminants such as road salt,
gasoline, oil, lubricants and solvents into shallow groundwater and deeper
aquifers risking the contamination of drinking water.
    Despite short notice and the inconvenience of an afternoon scheduling,
over sixty residents attended Durham Stone and Paving's public presentation of
its proposal. Notably, all attendees voiced a unified and resounding
opposition to the plan.

For further information:

For further information: Michael Stadtlander at (519) 922-3128

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