Colorado Site Would Adjoin Housing Development

Loveland, Colo.-based Coulson Excavating has proposed mining sand and gravel on 50 of 132.63 acres the company owns directly between Thompson River Ranch and Thompson Crossing in Johnstown, Colo., two neighborhoods with about 750 homes and another 650 to be built soon. The Stroh Gravel Pit would be split into two parcels.

The company first applied for the required special use permit in 2002, long before any of the existing neighborhoods or nearby retail businesses were developed. Though Coulson did not push the application forward until recently, the company has kept it active, on the record and posted on-site for the past 15 years, according to the Reporter Herald.

“They believe the service they are providing is needed in the community for progress in Northern Colorado,” said David Foster, an attorney who is representing Coulson Excavating on its permit application told the paper. The sand and gravel is needed for essential road projects throughout the area, and the fourth-generation family company has worked hard to reduce the impacts that neighbors fear from the operation, Foster added.

Iowa Operation Gets New Lease to Mine

The Waterloo, Iowa, city council voted unanimously and without discussion to approve a new 10-year lease with BMC Aggregates to continue mining sand and gravel from city property around the lake at George Wyth State Park, according to The Courier.

The company has been mining materials from the property owned by Brinker Lake Development Inc. and the city since 1997, which has helped create some 180 acres of surface water for boating, fishing and other water recreation there.

Waterloo would continue to receive 3 percent royalty payments on the extracted materials from the property with a minimum $5,000 annual payment. The city has been receiving between $35,000 and $40,000 annually on the previous agreement.

While there has been some concern from residents in the Greenbrier neighborhood, who questioned whether the mining has raised the water table and affected their basements, there were no objections to the lease extension.

Wyoming Sand and Gravel Operation Approved

An application from Eaton Brothers Inc. for the Eaton’s Ranch 2 Quarry was approved by the Sheridan, Wyo., county commissioners at their regularly scheduled meeting.

County Planner Mark Reid said the quarry will be leased to Wagner Ranch Services LLC, with the purpose of mining sand and gravel, and that all of the screening and crushing would be done on the 15-acre site.

Reid said the applicant has substantially complied with the minimum application requirements of the County’s Zoning Rules and Regulations pertaining to quarry permits.

The permit that was approved is for a 10-year period.

New York Quarry Facing Groundwater Objections

A court ruling has cleared the way for groundwater testing wells at the Sand Land mine in Bridgehampton, N.Y. Wainscott Sand and Gravel, which runs the site, faces accusations of illegally operating a solid waste processing facility. The company also has been accused of operating outside of its DEC permit.

In 2015, surface water testing near the property found heavy metal and pesticide contamination. It’s unclear how far the contamination may have spread.

“Any contamination on the surface is going to seep into our groundwater and also end up in our marine environment,” said Adrienne Esposito, an environmentalist speaking to Long Island, N.Y.’s News 12.

Suffolk County will install a total of 10 wells on the property and expects initial test results within eight to 12 weeks. Wainscott Sand and Gravel has already been conducting tests on the water, according to Brian Matthews, Wainscott’s attorney.

“At this point there has been no less than four years of groundwater testing on the property and the surrounding area, with dozens of results, all of which have not shown impact on the groundwater,” Matthews said.

Sand and Gravel Plant Cited for Violation

The owners of a Fort Morgan, Colo., sand and gravel pit failed to protect an area beyond the pit’s boundaries from damage or slides, the Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Board has determined.

The CMLRB found that Otis Jr. and Patricia Gordley’s operation was in violation of a Colorado statute and CMLRB regulations, which require that pit operators protect areas outside the boundaries of their pit from damage. This obligation is listed as a condition of the mining permit the Gordleys were issued, according to The Fort Morgan Times.

According to Colorado Department of Natural Resources Communications Director Todd Hartman, the damage to land surrounding the pit was discovered during a CDRMS site inspection. 

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