Green certification standard sought for aggregates

The effort is an attempt to alleviate issues from community groups that usually oppose new gravel pits being proposed in Canada.
The certification standard, which they claim would to be the toughest in the world, would place environmentally sensitive areas off limits for quarries.
Based on the success of the Forestry certification process, Bill Galloway, senior vice-president of Holcim (Canada) Inc believes that if quarries are placed in areas where the potential for environmental harm is minimised, gravel can be green.
Rick Smith, the executive director of Environmental Defense, added that having quarries certified under the proposed standard will lead to ?measurably greener aggregates, aggregates that are mined with much less of an impact on the landscape?. With the certification process being overseen by an independent non-profit entity, quarries with a green stamp of approval will likely face much less opposition from environmental groups.
For quarries to be certified green, companies would have to meet an array of exacting conditions. They have to avoid environmentally sensitive areas and a wildlife habitat needs to be created that is up to three times the size of the proposed quarry. Also included are the rehabilitation and preservation of ground and surface water as well as a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 15 per cent below 1990 levels. Companies would have to minimise quarrying of fresh rock through increased recycling of concrete and aggregates.
One of the major qualifications will be involving the local communities, including addressing concerns about increased truck traffic, dust, dirt and reduced air quality. The noise from blasting and quarrying operations will also have to be investigated.
?We see it as shifting away from the combative nature of where the industry is with various stakeholders? says Bill Galloway.
Source: Aggregate Research

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