Pennsylvania Quarry Faces Legal Objection

An attorney for New Hanover Township, Pa., filed a legal objection to a July 3 mining permit issued to the Gibraltar Quarry, thus opening yet another chapter in the 17-year-long legal battle, according to the Mercury News.

Township supervisors unanimously approved the filing of the appeal. In the appeal, which was filed by Robert Brant, the township’s special counsel on legal issues concerning the quarry, Brant argued that protections for the environment and human health contained in the 12-page non-coal mining permit issued by the Pottsville mining office of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection are inadequate.

The appeal was filed with the Environmental Hearing Board, a state board staffed by five administrative law judges who oversee disputes with the DEP and will decide the merits of the appeal. No matter what the board decides, either side unhappy with the result can subsequently appeal that decision to Commonwealth Court, a process which Stephen Harris, the attorney for Gibraltar Rock, estimated will take 12 to 18 months.

Cemex Expansion in Florida Challenged

A resident who would be directly impacted by a Cemex lime rock mining expansion in Brooksville, Fla., has challenged the county’s approval of that project with the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Heinrich Bracker is seeking a hearing to determine whether the Hernando County Commission complied with Florida law when it changed the county comprehensive plan this year. The change allowed 730 acres of undeveloped land west of Brooksville to go from residential and commercial use to mining and commercial use.

The proposed mine expansion, which Cemex pressed several times in recent years, was opposed by nearby residents organized as Neighbors Against Mining. The county’s Planning and Zoning Commission recommended against the land use change, saying it did not comply with the county’s comprehensive plan. Despite the opposition, the County Commission agreed to forward the proposal to the state for review. In June, after the state review, the commission voted unanimously to approve the changes.

Geneva Rock Wants Zoning Change for Utah Operation

Geneva Rock filed an application with Draper City, Utah, for a zoning change to allow mining on 72 acres. A leading opponent said the proposal would kick up more dust and scar the landscape, according to KUTV. There is also a Facebook group called “Stop Geneva Rock,” which has hundreds of supporters.

The company said it’s already invested tens of millions of dollars in site upgrades, and its new plan – the second in several years – is coupled with a conservation easement for even more of its land than the expanded mining footprint.

Geneva Rock released a video showing what it said is a comparison of how the mountain looks now, and what would happen if the zoning change is approved. It shows a swath of already excavated land would be covered with green new vegetation.

Colorado Crushing Permit in Limbo

Summit County, Colo., commissioners will vote on a proposed Peak Materials rock-crushing operation. The Upper Blue Planning Commission denied a permit request last April from the company to start crushing gravel on an 89-acre parcel known as the Mascot Placer, according to the Summit Daily.

Peak Materials has since appealed the decision to the Summit County Board of County Commissioners after Breckenridge Town Council jumped into the debate and sided with concerned homeowners by asking the county to uphold the denial of the permit.

Now, county staff and the applicant have requested another continuance to have more time to analyze cumulative traffic impacts and continue working toward a compromise.

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