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The Tay River, Perth On. ACTION ALERT!

My apologies for anyone receiving crosspostings -
the deadline on this latest MOE railroading
thing is April 2md.  Since this is a local matter
it strikes me the PIRG's event server is an apt 
place to post this.

The event being to email, fax, and or phone
the politicians in question to stop what my
bones are telling me will be a major disaster
if we do not do something.


Forwarded message:
Subject: The Tay River, Perth On.
From: Sue Brandum <getalife@perth.igs.net>

Hi folks;

This is an urgent and critical request.

      OMYA is a multi-national mining company based in Switzerland. It 
bought out the former Steeprock plant about four years ago. It's intentions 
are to make the Glen Tay plant (near Perth) the largest calcium carbonate 
plant in the world. It mines the soft white marble north of its plant, near 
Tatlock. Calcium carbonate is used in paints, drywall, toothpaste, 
medicines, tons of different stuff, including as a partial replacement for 
cellulose fibre in paper. You can find OMYA on the Internet.

       OMYA is applying for a water-taking permit which would allow it to 
take as much water from the Tay River as the Town of Perth does. The 
problem is that most of this water is not ultimately returned to the river, 
as it is from the Town. OMYA mixes most of the water with its crushed 
calcium carbonate and exports it from here. The precedent that could be set 
and the issue here is that the water doesn't make it back into the Tay -- 
it's exported.

      The Tay River Watershed Committee, which is taking a very reasoned 
approach, says there is not enough research yet to decide whether this 
removal would harm the Tay. It needs another two years to collect the 
research and is asking that the permit be delayed those two years.

      The ONLY way to affect the granting of a water taking permit by the 
Ministry of Environment is to send a letter. So, please take the 15 minutes 
now to read the following, compose a short letter which simply says you do 
not want the permit to be granted yet and that you want a thorough 
environmental impact study absolutely assuring that such a removal will not 
harm the Tay before the permit is granted. The fax number is below. 

      The kicker in all this is that the Ministry Of The Environment grants 
water taking permits without a thought and recently granted one to a 
company on the Tay that allows it to take water "FOREVER."

      The Tay River flows into the Rideau, which flows into the Ottawa, 
which flows into the St. Lawrence River, so yes, we are part of the Great 
Lakes watershed ... which begs the question when is water not water and 
when are water exports not water exports?

Thank you

Sue Brandum
Tay River Watershed Plan Public Notice Regarding OMYA (Canada) Inc. 
Proposed Water Taking from the Tay River

      The Tay River Watershed Plan Executive Committee wishes to bring to 
the attention of the community information related to OMYA's recent 
application to install a pumping station on the Tay River to supply water 
for its industrial plant. The application may be viewed at the Bathurst, 
Burgess, Sherbrooke township office on Harper Road, at the Perth Public 
Library, at the Ministry of the Environment, Kingston or on the 
Environmental Registry website at www.ene.gov.on.ca or .


The amount of water asked for is large--approximately a million gallons a 
day, equivalent to the amount of water used by the town of Perth 
daily.  Pumping large amounts of water from the Tay River has implications 
for the whole watershed including questions about water levels, the Perth 
water supply, fish and wildlife habitats, groundwater recharging, adjacent 
wetlands, Parks Canada water management levels for the Rideau Canal and 

      Changing weather patterns and global warming have created increased 
interest in water management issues and the need for caution for managing 
water resources.  The watershed's principal reservoir lake, Bob's lake, is 
currently two feet below normal, the outflow is at an all time low, and 
Environment Canada forecasts Eastern Canada's drought conditions to continue

      There is currently no comprehensive study of the Tay River on which 
to base decisions with long term and widespread implications.  The 
engineering report supporting the OMYA application uses data from the Glen 
Tay water gauge as "the most appropriate."  However, the gauge at Glen Tay 
HAS NOT BEEN USED SINCE 1927.  initial studies sponsored by the Tay River 
Watershed Plan show current available information is scattered, incomplete 
and out of date and that more study is needed.  Changes in the Ministry of 
the Environment's process make public participation an essential component 
of environmental decision making;


That the Ministry of the Environment be encouraged not to grant this 
application until accurate and comprehensive flow data has been assembled 
and a thorough environmental impact study on the Tay watershed has been 


The public is urged to participate in this important decision-making 
process. The Ministry stipulates that ONLY THOSE WHO COMMENT IN WRITING at 
this stage may take part in any further review, request or appeal of this 
application. You may participate in the following way:

Send your comments in writing to:

Supervisor, Water Resources Unit
Eastern Region, Technical Support
Ministry of the Environment
133 Dalton Avenue,
PO Box 820
Kingston, Ontario
K7L 4X6
Or fax to 613 548 6908

All comments must contain the Ministry's Registry and Reference numbers:

Registry number IA00E0427 and Reference number ER-9062

The deadline for receiving comments is April 2, 2000.
To strengthen the impact of your comments, send copies to your local 
municipal government, as well as:


Norm Sterling, MPP Lanark-Renfrew
130 Lansdowne Ave, Unit 5
Carleton Place, Ontario,
K7C 2T7
Fax 613 253 117

Ian Murray, MP Lanark Carleton
163A Bridge Street
Carleton Place, Ontario,
K7C 2V6
5 Fax 613 253 8027

Reeve Judy Brown
Township of Bathurst, Burgess, Sherbrooke
RR 4, Perth, Ontario
K7H 3C6
Fax 613 264 8516

Gordon Miller
Environmental Commissioner of Ontario
1075 Bay Street, Suite 605
M5S 2B1
Fax 416 325 3370


Gordon Miller
Environmental Commissioner of Ontario
1075 Bay Street, Suite 605
M5S 2B1
Fax 416 325 3370

Your input on this issue is important. Thank you for participating.  For 
further information, please call:

David Taylor 613-264-0094
Mike Mosher 613-267-7151
Carol Dillon 613-264-0680.

      The Tay River Watershed Plan is a community-based group representing 
residents, cottagers, landowners, businesses, interest groups, government 
agencies and other stakeholders throughout the watershed. This group has 
accepted the responsibility to promote and protect the Tay River watershed 
area, to improve the environmental health of the watershed and to inform 
and involve the community of issues concerning the Tay system.

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