Meridian has developed a phasing plan to keep excavation work three to four times further from nearby neighbourhoods for at least the next decade and a half.
The northern segment of the East cell comes closest to nearby homes on Westhaven Drive. However, Meridian’s new phasing strategy will ensure that the north section will be left unexcavated until late in the East cell’s life.
Along the existing earth berm, the 2010 Site Plan provides a 39-metre setback from the quarry boundary to the limit of shale excavation. This is substantially wider than the regulated excavation setback.
Meridian’s new phasing strategy includes a fully treed interim buffer zone, to be in place for at least 15 years, of 90 to 150 metres. East of the quarry boundary, the City’s open space zone is from 15 to 145 meters wide. The combined width of Meridian’s interim buffer and the City’s open space varies from 131 at the south end to 165 meters at the north limit of the interim buffer from the neighbours’ rear property lines.
This change was made acknowledging the questions our neighbours had about the East cell excavation operations and how close work would come to fencelines. Meridian developed this phasing strategy to ensure that operations in the East cell take place respectfully and compatibly.
For the first 15 years, the fully-treed buffer in the north corner will remain between Meridian Brick’s fenceline and the quarry. As Meridian Brick progresses into the quarry, the trees that are not part of the buffer will be removed over the first five years as required, and re-planted progressively as the project moves forward until the site is eventually restored to a fully forested landscape.
Only in about 15 to 20 years will Meridian begin to excavate the final, northern corner of the East cell, as work in the Centre section of the quarry complex begins to wind down and rehabilitation begins in earnest. In this third phase, a buffer of 54 to 56 metres from the shale excavation to neighbours’ fencelines will remain in place.
No matter what phase the project is in, Meridian will excavate only during the daytime hours, when most people are at work or at school, and will continue to implement strict controls to ensure our operations respect the neighbourhood.