Rocky Mountain Resources Plans Colorado Expansion
A “citizens’ alliance” in Glenwood Springs, Colo., is gearing up to fight plans to expand a limestone quarry north of town, according to the Post Independent. Rocky Mountain Resources (RMR), which currently extracts limestone on the federally leased land near the base of Transfer Trail north of Glenwood Springs, is seeking a major expansion of the operation.
Right now, the company runs up to 20 dump truck loads a day of mined material taken from 13 acres of land behind Iron Mountain. If the U.S. Bureau of Land Management approves RMR’s forthcoming formal proposal, Glenwood Springs roads would potentially see an increase in dump truck traffic to 250 to 350 trips daily. And residents and tourists alike may also see 13 acres of mined mountainside above town turn into a 260- to 300-acre excavation site.
“The Mid-Continent quarry has been in operation in the Glenwood Springs community for more than 35 years,” said Bobby Wagner, vice president of Colorado operations. “Rocky Mountain Resources purchased the Mid-Continent limestone quarry in late 2016 and is developing plans in coordination with the Bureau of Land Management to enhance and modernize our local operations. We are excited to share our future improvement plans with the community.”
Cemex Expansion Approved in Florida
Hernando County, Fla., commissioners voted unanimously to approve the Comprehensive Plan Amendment (CPA), CPAM 1702 that will allow the Cemex Corp. to expand mining operations, according to the Hernando Sun.
At the regular Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) on June 12, concerned citizens again filled the chamber to protest the plan. Employees of Cemex were also in attendance, however, none spoke to the commissioners.
The request was first made in 2014, when the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) voted to recommend the BOCC deny a request to amend the Future Land Use Map for the 730-acre tract from Residential Commercial Overlay to Mining and Regional Commercial Overlay. The P&Z Commission voted 4-1 for the recommendation to deny.
On April 28, 2015, Cemex withdrew their application for the comprehensive plan amendment. At the time, comprehensive plan amendments required a supermajority vote (two-thirds or 4 out of 5) for approval, and two commissioners voted against the amendment. In May 2017, the BOCC – with two new commissioners on the dais – voted unanimously to repeal the supermajority requirement.
Bulverde City Council Opposes Proposed Vulcan Quarry
The Bulverde, Texas, city council unanimously passed a resolution expressing opposition to the proposed Vulcan Materials Co.’s Comal Quarry on Farm-to-Market 3009 and Highway 46.
In addition to stating the city council’s opposition, the resolution also directed the Bulverde city manager to “request a contested case hearing on air permit number 147392L001 (and) request that the city of Bulverde be considered an ‘affected person.’”
Vulcan Materials said it is “committed to investing in the future of Comal County and operating in a safe, socially and environmentally responsible manner.”
The company continued, “Located in one of the fastest growing large counties in the nation, the Comal Quarry is strategically positioned along Highway 46 to responsibly support the local economy and meet the growing community needs, including infrastructure and transportation safety improvements.”
Judge Allows Martin Marietta Fight to Continue
The nearly three-year legal battle over a Martin Marietta Materials concrete and asphalt plant in Johnstown, Colo., took another sharp turn after a judge effectively sent the project back into the hands of the Board of Weld County Commissioners, according to The Tribune.
Weld District Court Judge Todd Taylor issued two separate rulings denying the plant’s neighbors’ request to have it torn down and affirming an entreaty from Martin Marietta and the county for a chance to fix the issues that caused the Colorado Court of Appeals to reverse the county commissioners’ decision to allow the plant.
In his ruling denying the request to tear the plant down, Taylor castigated the plaintiffs for failing to cite legal authority. Taylor also said he could not order the plant torn down because the plaintiffs never filed for an injunction that would have stopped construction of the plant while the case made its way through the courts.