Nicola Valley Aggregates LTD. has proposed digging a new gravel pit, approximately two kilometers away from Merritt.
“We were stunned when we learned that the guy who’s bought it has a arraignment with somebody else to put in a gravel pit,” said Robert Holmes.
A group of citizens calling themselves the Coutlee Residents committee have sent a letter to the Chief inspector of mines regarding a proposed gravel pit virtually across the street from the Village of Coutlee.
Spokesman for the committee Robert Holmes spoke to Q101 about the letter they sent to the Ministry of Energy and Mines that laid out 15 points of emphasis on why they oppose the project.
“Anybody that wants to put in a gravel pit has to follow the mines act and there are specific guidelines,” said Holmes. “The first thing on that list is public consultation and that has never taken place.”
Other items included the proximity to communities, noise and dust impacts, traffic considerations and groundwater impacts.
“We have a lot, a lot of questions and reasons why there should not be a gravel pit there, in what has been a hay field for 70 years,” said Holmes.
Holmes told Q101 they also have the support from the local First Nations.
“The person that wants to dig the gravel said he went to the Lower Nicola Indian Band in December and spoke to them. But I’ve talked to somebody at the band and said he was in there for five minutes at the most and they certainty didn’t agree to anything at that time", said Holmes.
The TNRD is standing firmly behind the Coutlee Residents Committee in the fight.
To this point, they have not heard back from the Ministry regarding their complaints.
On Twitter: @Q101Merritt