Washington Quarry Faces Opposition

In Washougal, Wash., a local conservation group, plus about two-dozen property owners, filed a letter warning they intend to sue a government commission that oversees land-use regulations in the Columbia River Gorge unless action is taken against a mining operation in east Clark County.

According to KATU News, in late November, Nathan Baker, senior staff attorney for Friends of the Columbia Gorge, and Gary Kahn, an attorney for about a dozen property owners living near the pit, sent a letter to Krystyna Wolniakowski, executive director of the Columbia River Gorge Commission. The letter concerns the Zimmerly Quarry, located on Southeast 356th Street near Washougal, and its land-use permit. Since the Nutter Corp. began operations last year, residents have complained to the county and the commission of noise and excessive truck traffic.

Peak Materials Seeks Colorado Permits

Peak Materials, a subsidiary of Summit Materials, held a community meeting about its plans to start aggregates excavation on Highway 9, about 10 miles north of its existing operation in Summit County, Colo. The proposed gravel pit is just a mile south of Ute Pass Road, on the west side of Highway 9. 

The new mining operation would result in an estimated 115 truckloads a day cycling back and forth between the site and an old Everist Materials site where it would be processed. Peak Materials would need a permit for the existing site to process gravel from another location.

A group called Lower Blue Residents United is raising funds to mount a professional campaign to stop the gravel pit. Peak Materials will need a conditional use permit to begin operations. That process begins with the Lower Blue Planning Commission and then is reviewed by the Summit County Commissioners, according to Summit Daily.

Asbestos Find Hampers East Rockhill Quarry

East Rockhill, Pa., residents opposed to operations at Rockhill Quarry have a potentially powerful new ally on their side, according to The Intelligencer.

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-District 8) of Middletown, wrote a letter to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf requesting that “Any redevelopment of the Rockhill Quarry be suspended until a more thorough environmental review of the site can be conducted.”

Fitzpatrick noted the recent finding of asbestos at the quarry, and he wrote he “appreciates” the state Department of Environmental Protection ordering an immediate halt of quarrying activities until an investigation can be completed. However, Fitzpatrick expanded his concerns to those echoed by residential neighbors of the quarry, regarding air quality, noise pollution and infrastructure deterioration due to increased traffic flow.

The quarry is owned by Hanson Aggregates Pennsylvania, a subsidiary of Heidelberg Cement. However, it is being leased and operated by the Richard E. Pierson Materials Corp. of Pilesgrove, N.J.

Cape Cod Aggregates Fights to Finish Work

Taking issue with noise, dust and trucks traveling to and from a Cape Cod Aggregates Corp. site, Bourne, Mass., residents are asking for it to end. The Zoning Board of Appeals, however, granted Cape Cod Aggregates a six month extension to complete excavation work at the site located at 665 Scenic Highway. After the extension, Cape Cod Aggregates is expected to return to the board with a status on the work and to have a plan for remediation of the site to be completed within two years.

The Zoning Board of Appeals tried to close the business in 2003 but state Land Court Judge Leon Lombardi reversed its decision to do so, and the town and Cape Cod Aggregates entered into a settlement agreement over operations at the site, according to the Cape Cod Times.

In 2004, the company lobbied the Zoning Board of Appeals to allow digging at the site until 2016. Two years ago, Cape Cod Aggregates asked for an extension to continue to the end of 2018.

Without the extension, the business would have to be shut down, said Samuel Lorusso, owner of Cape Cod Aggregates. The gravel left in the pit needs to be extracted in order to finish the restoration process, he said.

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