Vulcan Quarry Hit With Lawsuit Over Environmental Report

According to the Sierra Star, the Madera Oversight Coalition (MOC) contends that Madera County, Calif., and Vulcan Materials Co., owner of the Austin Quarry, failed to properly address “significant material and legal issues” when the site was approved and seeks to void its approval in a lawsuit.

In the lawsuit, filed Oct. 12, MOC claims numerous comments from the public, as well as “expert reports, testimony and documents” from hydrologists and others it hired, “show unequivocally that many of the premises, assumptions and data” within the Austin Quarry’s Final Environmental Report (FEIR) are incorrect.

“Because of the FEIR’s numerous flaws, and other errors in the deliberation process, the county abused its discretion and violated [the California Environmental Quality Act]” when it approved the document, according to the MOC’s lawsuit.

The MOC, as well as residents of the Madera Ranchos community near the quarry’s location, have long contended that the 671-acre site, permitted to mine aggregate for 100 years, will decimate the area’s water supply, potentially cause chaos on the highways from additional trucks, and adversely impact air quality – all points reiterated in the lawsuit.

Missouri Quarry Seeks Conditional Use Permit

The St Charles County, Mo., Council will consider a bill to grant a conditional use permit to expand the Schiermeier Quarry on Femme Osage Creek Road, as recommended by the County Planning and Zoning Commission, according to the Boone Country Connection.

The property consists of approximately 80 acres in Augusta, Mo. A summary of the bill prepared by the St Charles County Community Development staff recommends passage, subject to conditions that included the following:

  • That only materials extracted from the quarry be processed on this property.
  • That there be no extraction or disturbance within 100 ft. of the west, south and east property limits; and no extraction on the easternmost 16.9 acres.
  • That the site plan and operating procedures conform to all applicable federal and state and county-level requirements.
  • That hours of operation be from sunrise to sunset or 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., whichever is more restrictive, Monday through Friday and 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays.
  • That blasting be limited to 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday with no more than five blasts per week.
  • That a water retention basin be included.

Tennessee Quarry Gets the Okay

The Metro Health Department in Old Hickory, Tenn., has signed off on a quarry permit saying that the project meets air-pollution control requirements. Fighting the quarry on air-quality standards was a last-gasp effort for many in the Old Hickory area who have been fighting the quarry for more than two years, according to The Patch.

In August 2016, a judge ruled that a Metro Council ordinance designed to quash the quarry did not apply to the project because the landowners had vested property rights. Earlier this summer, the state issued water-quality permits over objections of residents. A law which would have stopped the quarry failed to pass the state legislature.

Early on, opposition to the project was based on dangers blasting at the site on Burnett Road would have to nearby Old Hickory Dam. Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) was on the forefront of the charge, though the Army Corps of Engineers, which operates the dam, said blasting posed no threat. And while blasting dangers got most of the attention, residents repeatedly worried about noise, pollution and general disruption of the quality of life in the quaint corner of Davidson County.

Colorado Application Request Shot Down

The Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Board voted down an application request to build a quarry in El Paso County, Colo. The board voted 3-2 against Transit Mix Concrete’s proposal to build a quarry west of Colorado 115 near Fort Carson, Colo., according to The Gazette.

The decision followed two days of marathon testimony in which representatives from Transit Mix and staff members from the state’s Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety presented their cases in five areas pertaining to the almost 400-acre proposed quarry site along Little Turkey Creek Road.

The factions argued about legal right of entry into the private land. And they discussed mining operations, the effect on water supply in the area, wildlife and possible reclamation after the more than 50-year life of the proposed project.

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