GUELPH: Xinyi Glass - Updated . . . .

GUELPH: Xinyi Glass - Updated . . . .

Postby Oscar » Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:08 am

Guelph/Eramosa: Call your councillor before Monday

[ https://canadians.org/blog/guelpheramos ... lor-monday ]

July 10, 2018 - 2:22 pm

The Council of Canadians Guelph chapter is deeply concerned about a proposal from the Chinese corporation Xinyi to build a glass factory in Guelph/Eramosa Township.

Are you aware that the factory would draw 1.6 million litres of water a day from wells drilled deep into a sensitive aquifer that supplies drinking water to the City of Guelph? Or that the factory would be located just 14 kilometres west of where Nestlé currently extracts millions of litres of water per day for its bottled water business?

The City of Guelph has expressed concerns about the glass plant’s potential impact on Guelph’s water supply. The factory would be located in close proximity to the Queensdale Well, the city’s well that is most sensitive to interference. “Any new water takings within this area would be considered a significant drinking water threat and present a potential risk to the City’s water supply system,” said Derrick Thomson, Guelph’s Chief Administrative Officer in a letter to Guelph/Eramosa Township on May 9.

A 2017 Tier 3 Water Budget and Local Area Risk Assessment study for Guelph and Guelph/Eramosa predicted the Queensdale Well will not be able to meet the future needs of the city under normal climate conditions. Climate change is expected to adversely affect groundwater supplies in the area. This is simply not an appropriate location for such a water intensive factory.

The proposed seven storey-tall factory would spread over 2 million square feet and include a 300-foot chimney that would release sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxide upwind from the City of Guelph, prompting concerns about acid rain from residents.

There are also trade concerns about the possible ramifications of the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA). If the glass factory is approved, subsequent measures that put restrictions on its water takings could either be prevented or challenged by so-called “investment protection” provisions in the agreement.

On Monday July 16, Guelph/Eramosa Township will meet and vote on a motion from Councillor David Wolk to refuse any further consideration of the Xinyi Float Glass plant because the proposed development does not comply with requirements set out in the township’s comprehensive zoning by-law. Please take a moment before Monday to call your councillor and express opposition to this factory, which threatens groundwater reserves needed for community drinking water supplies.

You can also attend the Guelph/Eramosa Township Council meeting on Monday, July 16 at 7:00 p.m. at Parkwood Gardens Community Church, located at 501 Whitelaw Rd., Guelph.

Phone numbers for City of Guelph councillors:
[ https://guelph.ca/city-hall/mayor-and-c ... y-council/ ]

Phone numbers for Guelph/Eramosa Township councillors:
[ http://get.on.ca/town-hall/committee/ma ... mbers.aspx ]


Please join the Council of Canadians’ Guelph chapter and our allies at Wellington Water Watchers and GETconcerned.org to support the local fight against this ill-conceived proposal and share this message with your friends and family.

Thank you for all that you do to protect water.

Onwards,

Mark Calzavara and Rachel Small
Regional Organizing Team
Ontario, Quebec and Nunavut

P.S. Mark your calendars for September 12!

GETconcerned.org, Wellington Water Watchers, and the Council of Canadians Guelph Chapter will host renowned water warrior and Honorary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians Maude Barlow in Guelph on Wednesday, September 12 at 7:00 p.m. at the Italian Canadian Club, located at 135 Ferguson St. Admission is free, and everyone is welcome. Maude will speak to Wellington County, Guelph and Guelph-Eramosa Township residents about the looming water crisis and the growing impacts of corporate water takings.


Mark Calzavara's blog
Council of Canadians' Ontario-Quebec regional organizer
[ https://canadians.org/blogs/mark-calzavara ]
Oscar
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Re: GUELPH: Xinyi Glass - TAKE ACTION: Call your councillo

Postby Oscar » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:06 am

Xinyi Proposed Floating Glass Plant: Guelph Eramosa Township (GET)

- July 20, 2018

The GET Council voted 4-1 to uphold its current bylaw which allows only dry use industrial businesses to locate in the township.
Guelph Eramosa Township (GET) Council voted on Monday July 16th to uphold its own bylaw which allows only dry use industrial businesses to locate in the township. Dry use means: Dry industries are those which do not use water or other liquids in any industrial process.

Xinyi Canada declined to comment on the outcome of the council decision.

A victory for the residents and farmers of Guelph Eramosa Township and for the residents of Guelph, whose water would be put at risk if this facility were ever built. BUT the devil is always in the detail; bylaws can be overturned by the new Ontario Municipal board (LPAT) and the newly elected Ford Administration in the province. Upholding the township’s bylaw has given residents some breathing space for the next phase.

So how did a large multinational glass making company decide to locate in GET?

The province of Ontario, as part of it’s trade visit to China in 2017, invited Xinyi, a China/Hong Kong based glass manufacturing company with a subsidiary Xinyi Canada, to Ontario. The invite was also supported by the County of Wellington. Xinyi decided to site its new floating glass factory in Guelph Eramosa Township (GET), a rural township of some 12,000 souls that surrounds the city of Guelph. It is predominantly a farming community with residential pockets and some dry industrial use. Xinyi put in an offer on a farm that was for sale in the township and then went to the GET Council saying that it would like to build a factory and provide up to 400 jobs for the area.

THEN, it explained that the factory would need some amendments to the current township bylaws:

- 1.6 million litres of water each day and would need to dig a well 600 feet deep to take water from the deep aquifer.

- It would need to keep it’s 1,600 degree centigrade furnace in operation 365 days a year, as turning it off would mean a shutdown of production of 6-9 months.

- Xinyi would need to have the water take guaranteed regardless of drought conditions in the Grand River Watershed.

- Xinyi would need to build a 300 foot smoke stack to dispel fumes created by the glass manufacturing process.(mainly nitrous oxide and sulphur dioxide).

A small residents group in GET read about the proposed factory and began to be worried about how the proposed industrial water taking would affect their wells and drinking water supply and started to do some citizen research. What they learned shifted them into high gear and GET CONCERNED was created and they began to organize. The group asked Council of Canadians Guelph chapter and Wellington Water Watchers to join them as allies.

Guelph Eramosa Township residents are entirely dependent on well water; there is NO water infrastructure system in this rural township. Most wells are 60 – 100 feet deep and are maintained by the owners.

On May 9 2018, the CAO of the City of Guelph, Derrick Thomson, wrote to the township saying "Any new water takings within this area would be considered a significant drinking water threat and present a potential risk to the City’s water supply system,"
Guelph is one of the few municipalities left in Canada that relies entirely on ground water to provide for the drinking water needs of its population. Guelph has been designated as a Places to Grow by the Province of Ontario and anticipates welcoming some 65,000 new residents, along with new businesses, in the next 20 or so years. Protecting our water for our current and growing population is a priority for this city.

Guelph and Guelph Eramosa Township are located in the Grand River Watershed and our water needs are fed by a narrow aquifer that runs from Georgian Bay (Lake Huron) down to Lake Erie. We are blessed with wonderful clean water provided by that aquifer. It is the reason that the international corporation, Nestlé, has aggressively courted this small township in the watershed to mine the aquifer for water which is then put in plastic bottles and sold around the world – we have had sightings of our water in Nestle bottles in Tokyo, Mexico and the Middle East. It is also the reason why Xinyi has chosen to locate here. The manufacture of floating glass (it is tough and of uniform thickness, used by automotive manufacturers and others).

The fight to protect the drinking water of our aquifer has only just begun; sadly, this is not a private trouble of the Grand river watershed – it’s an issue that affects every community – it’s the one thing that humans cannot do without….clean, drinkable water.

We are proud to announce that International Water Warrior and Honorary Chair of the Council of Canadians, Maude Barlow, will be in Guelph on September 12th, 2018. She will speak especially to the citizens of Guelph, Guelph-Eramosa Township and Wellington County about the looming water crisis posed by increased corporate water taking in the Guelph-Wellington area. Maude Barlow says, “This is a line in the sand for the residents of Wellington County and the whole Grand River watershed”

GET Concerned, Council of Canadians and Wellington Water Watchers are working collaboratively on this issue and will send out regular updates as things unfold.

For more information:

Ron East, Chair Council of Canadians Guelph Chapter
EMAIL: reast@uoguelph.ca
Oscar
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