Proposed Arizona Plant Finds Opposition
A proposed Southern Red Sands frac sand mine has stirred tensions and spurred questions in Kanab, Ariz., since the city council voted in July to provide water to the project. The mine’s opponents say local officials did not fully evaluate the mine’s potential impact on the area’s water, air and traffic, according to KUER 90.1 FM.
They also argue that the mine, which would produce at least 700,000 tons of sand per year, could threaten the city’s aquifer and an animal sanctuary that is the city’s largest employer. The company’s chief executive, Chad Staheli, said his company is complying with all regulations.
The company will restrict its mining to a 100-acre section of the animal sanctuary parcel until the sand supply is exhausted, between five and 10 years. The mine will then expand its operation onto adjacent Bureau of Land Management parcels if the demand for frac sand still exists. Staheli has stated that his company has purchased mining claims across 13,000 acres in the surrounding area.
Wake Stone Quarry Expansion Challenged
Last March, Wake Stone signed a deal with the Raleigh-Durham, N.C., Airport Authority to lease 105 acres for an expansion that could continue production for roughly 25 years at its nearly depleted existing quarry. The airport authority said it made sense to lease the property, which was acquired in the 1970s for a new runway that was eventually built elsewhere. The airport plans to use the roughly $24 million in lease payments for its own expansion, as passenger traffic is increasing roughly 10% a year and far-outpacing projections, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal.
But a group of opponents, led by the Umstead Coalition dedicated to park preservation and Triangle Off-Road Cyclists, received a temporary restraining order in state court last spring, saying building a private quarry on public land would set a dangerous precedent. The opponents also said in a lawsuit that the deal should have been considered by elected officials in Raleigh, Durham and their respective counties, who appoint the members of the airport authority and technically own the property to be leased. The Raleigh City Council recently said it didn’t like the quarry expansion, but declined to join the legal fight.
Aggregates Industries Quarry Not in Violation
The Salem, Mass., city council’s Subcommittee on Public Health and Environment will convene a future public meeting on blasting activities by Aggregate Industries, Inc. concerning its Danvers Road quarry straddling the Swampscott-Salem line, according to Wicked Local. Complaints and concerns have come from a few residents on Linden Avenue and the Chandler Road neighborhood, Cedarcrest Road, Moffatt Road and Station.
The Salem complaints come on the heels of Swampscott residents who live in neighborhoods near the quarry airing grievances in more than one Swampscott Board of Selectmen meeting over summertime blasting. Blasting operations, they argue, have been stronger, more frequent and louder than in years past. At that same meeting, Swampscott Fire Chief Kevin Breen, alongside Chairman of the Swampscott Earth Removal Committee John Picariello, walked residents through their findings and a timeline of Aggregate’s blasting in August and September. None, they said, violated regulations and rules governing blasting.
Carolina Sunrock Answers Residents’ Concerns
Carolina Sunrock’s plan to build a proposed rock quarry in Caswell County, N.C., has left residents of both Caswell and neighboring Person County worried about the water supply, according to the Caswell Messenger.
The mining company out of Raleigh, N.C., is currently seeking permits from the state to operate the mine on 630 acres off Wrenn Road. The property is located next to creeks and intermittent streams that feed Lake Roxboro. The lake is a secondary source of drinking water for the city’s 4,500 water customers.
Scott Martino, manager of environmental compliance for Sunrock, understands residents’ worries, but also wants them to know the company takes its environmental responsibility seriously. “Carolina Sunrock is committed to minimizing the environmental impacts on the communities in which we work,” Martino said. “We remain in close contact with the city of Roxboro, who manages the lake, throughout this process. In addition, we will utilize extensive storm water engineering design protocols in order to protect Roxboro Lake and its associated streams. This plan exceeds North Carolina Division of Environment Quality permitting standards.”