The Hartington Community Association (HCA) was formed to pursue public concerns about the quantity and quality of groundwater in the Hartington area. Local residents and farmers are dependent on private wells for drinking water and livestock watering purposes.
This fact, together with ongoing problems in well wwater yield experienced by area residents, prompted the HCA to participate in the 2017 public hearing held under the Planning Act in relation to the proposed Hartington subdivision. This hearing was triggered by appeals by the subdivision proponent when Frontenac County failed to make timely decisions on the draft plan of subdivision and proposed re-zoning.
The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal’s decision dated November 15, 2018 approved the subdivision, but imposed a number of important conditions intended to safeguard water resources in the area.
These conditions require the subdivision proponent to conduct additional testing and to submit various environmental reports, including detailed studies of the local soils, hydrogeological factors, groundwater quality, stormwater management, on-site septic systems and well water interference. The adequacy of these future reports will be reviewed by public authorities, such as Frontenac County, South Frontenac Township,
Quinte Conservation, and the local health unit.
From a groundwater quantity perspective, the Tribunal’s overall objective is to ensure that the aquifer is not “mined” by adding new private wells to service the subdivision lots. The HCA agrees with this paramount goal, and calls upon these public authorities to ensure that it is fully achieved in this case.
The HCA and its legal counsel, the Canadian Environmental Law Association, are committed to ensuring that the Tribunal’s conditions are strictly adhered to, that public authorities make appropriate evidence-based decisions on the forthcoming reports from the proponent, and that local residents are kept fully informed of next steps in this matter.
Submitted by John Lesperance
Secretary – Hartington Community Association