On June 18, 2020, Stone Mills Township issued the building permit for the intensive hog operation proposed next to the hamlet of Erinsville. The citizens group and many residents are angry and disgruntled that the green light has been given for construction to start.
The Concerned Citizens for Our Community Environments (CCCE) presented a virtual deputation to Stone Mills Township council at a special council meeting on June 15, 2020 viewed by over 300 citizens. The CCCE asked council to delay the issuance of a building permit by 60 days to give them the time needed to hire experts to conduct their own review of the site plan proposal, because the group has found many discrepancies and missing information in the plan documentation. The special meeting was followed by a regular council meeting. During neither did council move to grant an extension.
At the June 15 meeting, Susan Moore of Friends of Salmon River displayed a map showing spring water levels and the location of an intermittent stream flowing through the hog factory site, under County Road 41 and into Beaver Lake. After being presented with these new facts, Council asked Quinte Conservation to go to the hog factory site, and determine the existence of a watercourse leading from the property to Beaver Lake.
On June 17, Paul McCoy, Planning and Regulations Manager reported that they found no wetlands or obvious drainage channels.
This was an expected response because at this very dry time of year, much of that stream could be found underground. That stream runs through fields on the site where manure will be spread. An intermittent stream and the hummocky terrain on site are both indicators of karst. The presence of karst (fractured rock) increases the chances of contaminated run-off. “Karst channels in fractured bedrock make it extremely difficult to find and remediate leaks. There is almost certainly fractured limestone on this site.” said Jeff Whan from the CCCE.
The CCCE group is now determined to move forward with their own investigation of this intensive hog operation. They plan to hire experts who can examine the documentation and advise on the best course of action.
This operation poses a great risk to public health and safety. “This is absolutely the wrong location for an operation that has the potential to foul our wells and our waterways, and tarnish the lifestyle of our rural village community.” said Theresa Kennedy Williams of Erinsville.