Pennsylvania Quarry Wants to Dig Deeper

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is raising “significant” concerns with a controversial proposal to mine 200 ft. deeper at Hanson’s Oak Hall Quarry, according to a report in the Centre County Gazette. While no final decision has been made, “technical deficiencies” cited by the DEP could put that plan in jeopardy. The concerns focus on potential sinkholes and risks to a local creek.

DEP geologist William C. Brusse said the agency is concerned with the groundwater model Hanson submitted as part of its application for a major permit revision. The letter said “there would be significant uncertainty and potential risk to Spring Creek if the model results were accepted as reasonably predictive of the effects of mining” 200 ft. deeper.

To minimize risks and to further evaluate the matter, the DEP said it is considering the inclusion of a permit condition that would allow for mining only 50 ft. deeper. Digging another 50 ft. in the future would require the submittal of another major modification application.  

Vulcan Seeks to Enlarge South Carolina Land Holdings

Vulcan Materials Co. is in line to purchase 72 acres in Richland County, S.C., according to The State. The county currently uses the land as a source of soil to cover garbage at its adjacent Caughman Road North landfill. The property also is next to Vulcan’s current 260-acre mining site in that area.

Vulcan eventually will ask the state environmental agency to grant a mining permit for the 72 acres, but only after doing more drilling and other tests, according to Jimmy Fleming, Vulcan’s vice president for permitting. But it would be “decades,” he said, before the company would start mining on the property.

Separately, Vulcan received approval in December from the state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to mine a quarry on 553 acres in Lexington County. But the permit is under appeal by opponents in the rural area between Gilbert and Batesburg-Leesville.

The environmental agency approved three permits on Dec. 29, 2016, DHEC spokesman Robert Yanity said. A group called the Ridge Protection Coalition asked on Jan. 11 for a review of those permits, the spokesman said. The mining council will hear arguments on the disputed permits in June, Yanity said.

Fleming said the company plans to mine about one-third of the 553 acres.

Rogers Group Quarry Dodges Weight Restrictions

According to the Decatur Daily, Limestone County, Ala., officials, responding to complaints from residents, said that no weight restrictions are needed for trucks traveling to and from a Rogers Group quarry. But they will re-evaluate the counts when the quarry, which is in a Huntsville-annexed part of the county, is in production.

Marc Massey, assistant county engineer, said the April volume analysis is a baseline count, and when The Rogers Group goes into production, a new analysis will be performed. For now, “There’s no need to pursue weight limits,” Massey said.

The traffic volume on Gray Road South on April 4 was 2,195 vehicles, with 6.3 percent of traffic from trucks, ranging from two-axle, six-tire trucks to semis. And, the count on Newby Road North on April 4 reached 2,319 vehicles, with 12.1 percent being truck traffic.

A local official said he could not place weight restrictions on the road without unfairly targeting The Rogers Group.

Aggregates Industries Seeks Permits to Fill Quarry

Aggregate Industries received a draft administrative consent order (ACO) from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection that, along with town approval, will allow the company to fill a rock quarry in Saugus, Mass., with acceptable materials, according to the Saugus Wicked Local.

Lisa Young, the director of land and environment for Aggregate Industries, met with the Aggregate Post Closure Committee April 10 to update members on the status of the ACO and the work that has been done to prep its quarry for fill intake.

In spring 2016, the Aggregate Post Closure Committee voted to support a Fill Management Plan (FMP) that details procedures to fill the rock quarry, including how the quarry reclamation will be completed using materials that meet state DEP approval.

Committee members also voted unanimously last summer to adopt a Land Reclamation Agreement between the town and Aggregate Industries that spells out desired types of uses for the redevelopment of the 40-acre quarry off of Route 99.

Aggregate Industries has requested a meeting with the state DEP to discuss the draft ACO. The company hopes to have the consent order signed by the middle of May.

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