Colorado Operation Faces Push-Back
Rocky Mountain Industrials (RMI) wants to expand its operation in Glenwood Springs, Colo., however some locals do not share the enthusiasm for expanding the 15.7-acre quarry site to 447 acres.
According to the Aspen Daily News, the Garfield County commissioners allocated $250,000 from the general fund to cover legal fees pertaining to the lawsuit the board brought against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Department of Interior, in which commissioners allege that the BLM did not hold RMI accountable to federal law in its mining operations and limestone sales.
RMI maintains that several of the county’s – and, by proxy, the city’s – complaints against its operations have been sanctioned by the BLM. Since the quarry site sits on public federal lands, the argument continues, the BLM’s jurisdiction should trump that of local entities.
It’s not even the only litigation involving the proposed expansion in which the Garfield County commissioners are involved. The Glenwood Springs Citizens’ Alliance – a grassroots organizing nonprofit created specifically in opposition to RMI’s quarry expansion proposal – has sued the BLM.
The lawsuit contends that since 2016, BLM allowed the company to mine and sell certain types of limestone that are not allowed under the company’s federal mining permit.
Canadian Company Seeks to Open Sand and Gravel Plant
A construction company with ties to Grand Forks, B.C., Canada, held a public consultation about its proposed gravel mine on the North Fork of the Granby River. Around 20 area residents attended the meeting, held via Zoom.
Derek Holmes, a consultant for Terus Construction, which owns Grand Forks’ Selkirk Paving Ltd., hosted the meeting in preparation for its application for a license of occupation at Volcanic Creek (File No. 4405975), a forest ministry spokesperson told The Gazette.
The area is rich in high quality sand and gravel that can be used to make asphalt and road base in Grand Forks, said Terus’s aggregate resource manager, Tyson Craiggs. Craiggs explained that the proposed mine would occupy around five hectares of Crown land within the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary’s Area D, roughly 15 km north of Grand Forks. The mine would provide around 9,500 tonnes of sand and gravel per year for Selkirk Paving’s asphalt plant in the city, Craiggs explained.
Providing Selkirk Paving with locally extracted aggregate would significantly reduce carbon emissions by trucks that deliver Selkirk’s raw materials. This would make Selkirk’s products cheaper to consumers, he said, because the price of aggregate is largely driven by trucking costs.
H&K’s Proposed Operation Gets Another Hearing
In Pennsylvania, Springfield Township’s fifth hearing on a quarry proposed off Route 309 did not lead to a decision, and more meetings loom on H&K Group’s plan, according to WFMZ TV.
H&K, based in Montgomery County, plans a quarry on 196 acres on the east side of Route 309 between Coopersburg and Quakertown, Pa. The tract is in an industrial zone. H&K needs conditional zoning approval to move ahead. Neighbors have objected, citing noise, traffic, pollution and dust. They say the quarry will ruin their rural lifestyle.
Gravel extraction would begin at the southern end of the Bucks County property and move north after 16 to 20 years. About 500,000 tpy of rock would be removed, and after extraction ended, the land would be reclaimed.
Planned Alabama Quarry Raises Local Concerns
Citizens of Beulah, Ala., have raised concerns about the Shady Grove Quarry, a potential granite quarry for which Creekwood Resources LLC has applied for permits. Some citizens have formed a group called “Protect Buelah, Stop the Quarry,” according to the Opelika Observer.
The company has applied to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management for an air emissions permit to operate a quarry on U.S. 29 North near Beans Mill, a few miles west of Beulah in an unincorporated part of Lee County. The permit stated that the company would crush, screen and stockpile granite there “for construction aggregate.”
Creekwood expects to provide full-time employment to at least 15 community members. “At Creekwood, we commit to operating in a safe, socially and environmentally responsible manner, while creating good quality jobs and economic opportunity for the local community,” the company stated.