Cornerstone Standards Council (CSC) is releasing its draft standards for responsible aggregate extraction in Ontario. The draft, which proposes actions that pits and quarries would voluntarily undertake in order to be certified, is posted online at www.cornerstonestandards.ca and are also available by request to email@example.com.
Over the next 60 days, CSC is reaching out to individuals and groups interested in the role voluntary certification can play in Ontario’s aggregate sector. The Council is seeking feedback on the draft Responsible Aggregate Standards and wants to know if they accurately reflect achievable expectations for progressive pits and quarries.
“Reducing the social and environmental impact of pits and quarries and recognizing companies that go the extra mile is an important step in sustainable construction.” says Peter Kendall, Schad Foundation and Chair of CSC’s Board of Directors. “Aggregates are an important resource and CSC sets a benchmark for how our province can ensure it is sourced in an environmentally responsible way.”
CSC expects that this voluntary certification system will have a transformative effect on Ontario’s aggregate sector by introducing a less confrontational approach to the planning, siting and operation of aggregate sites. The draft standards propose voluntary requirements for pits and quarries that meet community’s growing expectations for social and environmental rigour by:
— Protecting Ontario’s most important natural areas;
— Identifying and address potentially adverse environmental impacts
— Meaningfully engaging with local communities and Aboriginal groups before extraction is licensed and throughout the lifecycle of operations;
— Communicating progress towards final extraction with the community; and
— Developing final rehabilitation plans that incorporate community interests.
“These draft Standards are the result of years of hard work by CSC’s Standards Development Panel [and] our best effort to define what leadership looks like for the aggregate industry,” said Lorne Johnson, Executive Director of CSC. “Moving forward, we realize that for these standards to succeed, we need the input from other industry, community and environmental groups, and Aboriginal organizations.”
During the 60-day consultation period, CSC will reach out to individuals and organizations concerned with aggregate extraction in Ontario as well as host information sessions across the province. These sessions will provide greater detail about CSC’s voluntary certification system, answer questions related to the draft standards, and facilitate feedback. In the coming weeks, details about these sessions will be posted at www.cornerstonestandards.ca and shared through CSC’s electronic newsletter.
Formal comments may be submitted to CSC from January 6 to March 6, 2014. To submit comments, they must:
— Be attributed: Name, affiliation and contact information must be included.
— Be in writing: All comments must be in writing.
— Be within the consultation period: The last day for submitting comments is 4:00PM EST on March 6, 2014.
— Be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to Cornerstone Standards Council, 285 McLeod St. Ottawa, K2P 1A1
Following consultation all comments, and who they are attributed to, will be posted on the CSC website at www.cornerstonestandards.ca.