Permitting – December 2014


MAC Construction and Excavating’s permit to operate an asphalt plant at the Hanson-Atkins Quarry has been revoked by the city of Jeffersonville, Ind.

Pat Barrow, who filed a lawsuit in 2010 with neighbor Charlie Hanka against MAC Construction and the city of Jeffersonville, said her attorney filed a motion to drop the lawsuit following the news of the permit being pulled. Barrow said that the city granted MAC the permit illegally outside of a public meeting and that neighbors of the plant have dealt with soot in the air and soil, odor and noise from the plant.

MAC spokesman Bryan Wickens, vice president of administration and general counsel, said that the decision to pull the permit does not simplify the issue despite the city’s intention to do so. “We are disappointed the city chose to take action that appears to be a revocation of the permit and vehemently disagree with this decision and approach,” Wickens said in a written statement.

Pennsylvania Quarry Permit in Jeopardy

A panel in Harrisburg, Pa., has ruled that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) “abused its discretion” when it repeatedly extended a permit for the 61-acre Gibraltar Rock quarry over nine years of legal battles, according to The Mercury News.

The panel is called the Environmental Hearing Board and has oversight over the DEP. It issued a 75-page ruling that found that the DEP’s repeated extensions of a mining permit first issued April 15, 2005, was an abuse of discretion and ruled that the company must re-apply for the permit.

As a result, the public will have another opportunity to comment on the issuance of the permit, said Robert Brant, an attorney who was hired by New Hanover Township to serve as special counsel for dealings with Gibraltar Rock.

It also means that the company, a subsidiary of The Silvi Group, must now comply with any new surface mining regulations that have been adopted in the last nine years, he said.

But Stephen Harris, the attorney representing Gibraltar Rock, said the requirement that the company re-apply for the permit is moot “because we were going to have to go back and get the permit amended permit anyway to comply with the township’s land development requirements, so we would have had to do through the same process.” As a result, “I don’t think the ruling changes very much,” he said.

Wisconsin Operation Seeks Permit

The site of a new Wisconsin quarry being proposed by Buechel Stone Corp. lies within an agricultural protection area and special approval is needed for a non-metallic mining permit, according to a report in the FDL Reporter.

Through its consultant, Buechel Stone has submitted an application to the town of Byron, Wis., for a quarry on a 43-acre site that is part of the Jim Geelan farm on Highway 175 between Church Road and Highway B. The site is southeast of Hobbs Woods, a popular 60-acre county park.

Town of Byron Clerk Kay Oestreich said documents have been received and the town will issue a decision on the completeness of the application and how the town plans to proceed. No meetings will be scheduled until the application review is completed.

“(The proposed site) is located in the farmland preservation zoning,” said Ron Engel, a professional geologist and hydrologist who serves as environmental consultant for Buechel Stone Corp. “You can do non-metallic mining as a special use.”

Conditional Use Permit Denied in Kentucky

After four nights of testimony, a Conditional Use Permit for the Franklin Rock Quarry in Franklin, Ky., was denied. It died by a vote of 3-to-2 from the Franklin-Simpson Planning & Zoning Adjustment Board, according to the WBKO.

The same people who voted to revoke the original permit to Charles Deweese Construction, voted against issuing them a new one. Those three board members are Wesley Roland, James Neal and Sallie Starks. The two board members who voted to grant the new permit are Ray Malchow and board chairman Dan Coates.

The board said the opposition’s concern for public safety, ground water contamination, and the quarry’s proximity to a park played a role in their decision. Charles Deweese Construction could still appeal the board’s decision.

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