NO to Zoning for Asphalt Plant





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Welcome to the Escarpment - Update 2018

By the summer of 2018, our battle for the protection of the Jessup's Falls escarpment will have been a journey of 6 years. 

The Trigger – A Request for Rezoning

In 2011, this journey was triggered by a request to change zoning from rural to industrial on a piece of land on the Jessup’s Falls escarpment, a natural setting near the South Nation and Ottawa rivers and in close proximity to a park, farms, a centre for spiritual retreat, homes, and many small businesses.

The Alfred-Plantagenet Council passed resolutions to try to protect Jessup’s Falls. After sustained opposition by hundreds of citizens, and in light of convincing evidence that industrial development would put the groundwater at Jessup’s Falls at risk of contamination, the United Counties went so far as to remove the aggregate resource designation for the escarpment from the 2015 Official Plan. Their decision was reversed by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH).

A Grassroots Revolution

In 2012, NZAP was created to publicize the zoning change request to a greater extent than the small print on roadside signs and announcements required by law. The red flag campaign spread across the Counties showing the extent of NZAP support. Red signs along County Road 17 helped raise awareness of the area under threat. Citizens started voicing their concerns in town halls and local events.

Raising Awareness for Jessup’s Falls

In 2015, the non-profit group EscarpAction was born to start fundraising and organizing community events to help inform the public on the serious environmental issues we are facing in this region. Residents and businesses throughout Prescott-Russell and surrounding areas donated generously to the cause and attended some fabulous events. Thank you to all who donated and helped make these events a success.

The Appeal to Protect Jessup’s Falls

In 2016, the Township got behind its citizens in recognizing the need to protect our fragile escarpment and appeal the MMAH decision before the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). Mayor Dicaire acknowledged that the risk to the water table wasn’t taken into account in the MMAH decision and, if the worst happened, we would all suffer the consequences.
We expected that the next phase of going before the OMB would take months. Months turned into a year, then a year and a half.

The Case for Clean Water

The Township of Alfred-Plantagenet and a dozen citizens prepared their cases for the OMB while the Province, the Counties, and industrial interests prepared their counter-arguments.  Hydrogeological studies were done on the escarpment and experts confirmed the existence of karst and the high risk of contamination to groundwater in the Jessup's Falls area. These studies and other expert opinions, including legal fees, were paid for by private citizens.

The Decision on the Escarpment

In the end, the removal of the aggregate designation on the escarpment was not possible for reasons that were never fully explained by the OMB. But agreement on a 3 phased approach to development on sensitive land was successful. This approach will necessitate a multitude of studies that can prove that the water table will ‘not’ be contaminated by any type of development in areas of known or suspected karst limestone.
The area of known karst in Jessup’s Falls has been officially increased to identify the escarpment and not just a dot where a portion of the rock that makes up Jessup’s Falls is visible.

Sustainable Development in Prescott-Russell…in Three Phases

  1. Knowing that an area is potentially karstic, it is the responsibility of the developer to prove that their projects will have no impact on groundwater. The County or Township can request that a karst study be done in areas where karst is suspected. This can include but is not limited to:
  2. Site visits and studies done by qualified geoscientists, or engineers, with karst experience
  3. Engineer’s geotechnical slope evaluation
  4. Mapping that show historic and present-day karst
  5. Surface and groundwater well data
  6. And any other publicly available records.
  7. If through these studies, karst ‘is’ likely to exist, more studies will be required such as a field-based karst evaluation and karst hydrogeological evaluation. Experts with knowledge of karst are required and essential to accurately identify risk.
  8. If a karst* hazard is confirmed, then geotechnical and land use compatibility studies must be completed. These are essential to determine whether risk to groundwater can be mitigated. If not, then the project should not go forward.

Read the Official plan on the United Counties of Prescott-Russell Offical site: Official Plan

The Jessup’s falls area ‘has’ now been identified as ‘an unstable bedrock area of known karst*’, meaning the Township can ask for any and all necessary studies be performed by qualified professionals with expert knowledge in karst.

Help Keep our Counties Sustainable

We should all be following these best practices to help keep our groundwater safe. Something as simple as changing the oil in your car can cause issues for those living ‘downstream’. So if you do need an oil change, please go to a professional garage or make sure you use a large catch basin and take your oil to be disposed of at a proper facility.
We can all work together to keep our rivers, streams and wells clean and thriving for generations to come.
The continued goal of NZAP, EscarpAction, the citizens of Plantagenet, and all those who enjoy the region, is to makes sure that Jessup’s Falls remains an area that is welcoming to visitors and sustainable businesses though the protection of our natural resources.

NZAP Feb. 17, 2018

Update on - The Fight to Preserve the Jessup’s Falls Escarpment

I'm sure you're wondering what has been going on with our work to save the Jessup’s Falls escarpment.  Although our County mayors voted to keep the aggregate resource designation (and therefore quarrying) off the escarpment, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) reversed the change to the Official Plan.

Our position hasn't changed, as the reality of the remarquable but fragile karst landscape of the escarpment has not changed, and as the real threats of heavy industry to the river, to our wells, and to our community as a whole have not changed. So our township and more than a dozen private citizens have appealed the MMAH decision.

We have hearings coming up as well as other meetings to defend our position.
A few residents are representing themselves at the hearings, while some of us have teamed up to be represented by lawyers. Our next pre-hearing conference with the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) is April 27, 2017. The full hearing is scheduled for October 2nd, 2017.

We need funds to help pay for lawyer and expert fees and for the studies needed to support our case. We're planning activities throughout the year to help pay for the expense of protecting our natural heritage, our air, and our water.


Donations can be made online through PayPal or credit card. Visit the EscarpAction site for information:

You can also mail a cheque to:
EscarpAction Jessup’s Falls
P.O. Box 252                                                                                           
Plantagenet On

Thank you for your precious support!!
The EscarpAction Team

Municipal Council Meeting

You are invited to the next Alfred & Plantagenet Municipal Council meeting to be held :
- next TUESDAY February 17th at 7:00 pm
- at the Municipal Hall in Plantagenet.

At this meeting, some citizens will present briefly to the NEW Council the work that has been done until now to protect the Jessup’s Falls Escarpment - including the asphalt plant issue.

These citizens were allowed a presentation of 30 minutes..... difficult to present in 30 minutes all the work and the activities that happened in the last 3 years.... however, it is important to present to the new councilors and new mayor an overview of this “hot” ongoing issue that concerns many citizens of the township.

Come get information on the issue, get updated on the latest developments and show your support for the protection of the community!



Wednesday, November 13 at 1:00 pm
59 Court Street - L'Orignal (ON)


CONFIRM YOUR INTEREST and CONCERNS regarding FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS on the Jessup's Falls Escarpment.

WHY? Because...

  • people have a say on the future of their community,
  • the natural features of the escarpment are numerous, and
  • many of them are not well documented and need more time to be studied.

Many new aggregate reserves have been identified in Prescott-Russell and could have serious implications for some properties.

Example: Asphalt Plant and other heavy industries

The following document lists some ideas to bring forth at the public meeting:

Read this to prepare for the public meeting

Take note: If you do not take this opportunity now to state your concerns, it seems you will not be allowed to participate in an appeal if the new official plan is approved. Read more about submissions on the public notice.

Please share this important information!

Public consultation on the five-year Official Plan review

Public Consultations:

  • Wednesday, October 23 in Rockland (City of Clarence-Rockland Town Hall), from 3 to 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 24 in Casselman (The Nation Municipality Town Hall), from 3 to 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 30 in L’Orignal (UCPR Council Chambers), from 3 to 8 p.m.

Public Meeting with council:

  • Wednesday, November 13 in L’Orignal (Public Meeting, Council Chambers) at 1 p.m.

Read the Press Release

Review the revisions to the official plan

AUGUST 2013 - The official plan will be presented during the United Counties of Prescott-Russell council meetings this august. Read a translation of the Radio-Canada article on our site.

August 14 – 9:00 a.m. Cancelled
Committee of the Whole
Council Chambers, 59 Court Street, L’Orignal

August 28 – 8:00 a.m.
Planning and Forestry Committee
Warden’s Office, 59 Court Street, L’Orignal

August 28 – 9:00 a.m.
Council regular meeting
Council Chambers, 59 Court Street, L’Orignal

Information on county meetings can be found on the United Counties website.

Wednesday April 24, Mr. Louis Prévost is to present the final report of the MINERAL AGGREGATE INVENTORY MASTER PLAN FOR Prescott-Russell to the Council of the United Counties. This exhaustive study covers very important aspects of the mineral aggregates including an inventory and an exploitation master plan.

 Aggregate Resources Inventory Master Plan  ( The study itself is a little long, you can get a good idea of the changes proposed by looking at Annexe A (the doted lines are the proposed changes from this study for the 5 next years))

County Meeting Information including meeting of the 24th.

December 3rd Municipal Meeting

Read Ian Walker's presentation points from the Alfred-Plantagenet township municipal meeting on December 3rd, 2012.

Resolution Adopted

On November 5th, the Alfred-Plantagenet municipal council adopted the Resolution to Modify the designation of the Jessup's Falls Escarpment- this means both removing the Mineral Aggregate Resources Policy Area and expanding the Area of Natural and Scientific Interest. Click here to see the resolution!

Proposal to Save the Escarpment

BREAKING NEWS – Mr. Jean-Yves Lalonde, Mayor of the Alfred & Plantagenet Township, is to propose a resolution to protect the Jessup’s Falls Escarpment area


Since July 2012, the community is strongly lobbying the Alfred & Plantagenet Township and the United Counties of Prescott Russell (UCPR) to vote against a proposed zoning change and an Official Plan amendment to allow the establishment of an asphalt plant in the area of the Jessup’s Falls Escarpment of Plantagenet.

The proposed site is a limestone karst sub-surface (unstable bedrock), has an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI) as well as a significant woodland with the presence of species at risks.  Two major rivers, the Ottawa River and the Nation River, are located less than 2 km of the site.

More background and technical information at: and on Facebook.


On September 20, the proponent P.B. Paving & Landscaping requested that their application to be put on hold until the revision of the Official Plan of the United Counties of Prescott Russell.

On hold doesn’t mean it is over.

The community is still following the case closely and has moved their attention and lobbying activities toward the revision of the Official Plan and how this document will affect the future of their area.

On October 1st, after months of silence, Mayor Jean-Yves Lalonde has publicly announced his intentions to protect the Jessup’s Falls Escarpment area.


You are invited to the municipal council meeting to learn more on the official proposition of Mayor Jean-Yves Lalonde to protect the Jessup’s Falls Escarpment area.  Mr. Lalonde will be presenting his proposition to his council members.  A vote on the proposition is expected.

Event: Alfred & Plantagenet Municipal Council Meeting
Date: Monday October 15, 2012
Location:  Plantagenet Community Hall
Address: 220 Main Street, Plantagenet (ON) K0B 1L0
Time: 7:00 pm

Mayor: Jean-Yves Lalonde – email: tel: (613) 673-4797 ext: 241
Clerk: Marc Daigneault – email: tel: (613) 673-4797 ext: 230

For more information on the revision of the Official Plan of the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR)

Warden of the UCPR: Mayor François St-Amour – email: tel: (613) 524-5486
Director of Urban Planning and Forestry: Louis Prévost – email: 1-800-667-6307 ext: 7100

If you want to further discuss this subject with community members, please direct your inquiries to:

Suzanne Lavoie
(613) 673-5881

Recap - Council Meeting October 1st

The mayor stated clearly in the October 1st meeting that he will do all in his power to make Jessup's Falls a protected zone by expanding the ANSI.
A revision to the official plan is being submitted by Ian Walker (Mariposa). Here are the main points of the plan which the Plantagenet council adopted during the Oct.1st meeting:

  1. remove the MINERAL RESERVE Classification from the official plan or the Jessup’s Falls escarpment
  2. revise the Official Plan to include the true boundaries of the Jessop’s Falls KARST;
  3. revise the boundaries of the Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI) for the Jessop’s Falls area to include the true boundaries of the Jessop’s Falls karst;
  4. and work with the province to have all maps, classifications and ANSI areas revised.

The mayor made it clear that he is not against development but that some lands need to be protected like the Alfred bog, the Larose Forest and the Jessup's Falls escarpment.

«  This is not the time of colonization, we can't do what we want where we want, we have to take the community into consideration... »

The next step is the revision to the official plan of Prescott Russell. So we must continue to participate in the process.

It would be important for other groups/assocations/organizations to also ask for modifications to the official plan to protect our region.

Council Meeting October 1st

The proponent has asked that the demand for rezoning Plantagenet to build an asphalt plant be put on 'HOLD'. There will therefore be no vote by council on October 10th. More details regarding the direction of the Township of Alfred-Plantagenet Council on this matter will hopefully be known this Monday October 1st. Everyone is welcome. Regular council meeting, 7pm, Plantagenet.

Description: 7:00 p.m. Plantagenet Community Hall
Date: Monday, 1st October 2012
Access: Public


Pictures from the September 10 public meeting

Answers to the questions and concerns of the residents and taxpayers of the Township of Alfred and Plantagenet

Public meeting organized by the Alfred and Plantagenet Township – On Monday September 10 at 7:00 pm at the Lucien Delorme Community Center in Wendover

The Municipality has submitted answers to questions asked by the citizens at the first public meeting of July 16. The Municipality of Alfred & Plantagenet is organizing a SECOND public meeting to respond to public concerns with the issue:

DATE: September 10, 2012
LOCATION: Community Center – Lucien Delorme
ADDRESS:  5000 Centre Communautaire Street, WENDOVER (Ontario) K0A 3K0
TIME:  7:00 P.M.
CONTACT: Marc Daigneault, Clerk – (613) 673-4797 ext: 230

We suggest that participants wear red clothes as the colour red means stop to the rezoning and the asphalt plant.

Click here to read the Answers to questions asked by the community during the meeting of July 16th.

Click here to read the questions asked during that meeting.

Download the poster

August Council Meeting Report

About 100 people showed up for the town council's regular town meeting tonight. Community action group researchers presented some new issues to council and many town members voiced their continuing concerns.

The council announced dates for the next meetings: September 10th for the next public meeting for answers to questions on the re-zoning request and October 10th for the council meeting to decide on the re-zoning application.

A motion for a karst hydrogeology study was unanimously approved by council.

Community BBQ

The BBQ was a great success; Radio-Canada made an excellent report on the evening news:

Reportage - Radio-Canada



  SATURDAY 11 AUGUST, 11AM to 1PM, at 6560 County Rd 17
On the property right beside the land in the proposal for the rezoning.

Bring your hot dogs and buns only (there will be a BBQ on site).
This is a free event, everyone is welcome!

Come discuss the issues and impact this project will have on your quality of life and health: the water you drink, the air you breathe, the roads you travel upon.