Texas Quarry Operation Seeks Permit
Salado, Texas, residents are protesting a potential new rock mining operation, according to KWTX. Victory Rocks is seeking to open the new quarry off Solana Ranch Road. Residents of the rural area believe that the Victory Rock Quarry is a direct threat to their quality of life, due to groundwater use concerns.
Victory Rock initially requested a permit from the Clearwater Underground Water Conservation District (CUWCD) to pump water from the middle aquifer trinity. However, CUWCD asked them to resubmit a new permit request to pump from the lower aquifer trinity. The lower aquifer is less used and most expensive to retrieve water from.
“We continue to make sound decisions based on scientific discernment and nothing more,” said Dirk Aaron, the general manager of CUWD. The residents are also taking their frustrations to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which is still considering granting an air quality permit to Victory Rock.
Vulcan Quarry in Virginia Wants Expansion
A proposed mine expansion at Vulcan Materials’ North Stafford, Va., operation has some residents in the community concerned about how it might affect them, according to the Free Lance Star.
There is a request for the county to review a 23-acre expansion adding additional reserves and also a concrete plant. There is already an asphalt plant on the site.
The review process will take months to complete. It would then go to the planning commission and board of supervisors for public hearings and approval.
County officials confirmed additional work at parcel 20–2 is included as part of the quarry’s expansion proposal.
Area residents will have the opportunity to express their views on the proposal during town hall meetings prior to the package being sent to the county’s planning commission.
Hearing Held on Colorado Quarry Project
The Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety recently held a public meeting regarding the Peak Ranch Resource Project, a gravel mine about seven miles north of Silverthorne, Colo., proposed by Peak Materials, according to Summit Daily.
The proposed project would be on the 75-acre Hillyard property, which Peak Materials bought in 2018. The plan is to mine the property for gravel, transport materials to the company’s Maryland Creek Ranch facility – about 11 miles south of the mining site – and then convert the property to open space. The project, including mining and reclamation, is expected to take 10 to 15 years. The current review is only for Phase I of the project, which is surface-level mining, meaning no groundwater will be exposed. If plans for Phase II are approved, dredging would be allowed.
Division representatives explained the state’s role in the process, saying the Peak Ranch Resource Project has to pass through the state before it reaches Summit County officials, while meeting participants, mainly property owners in the area, asked questions about the permitting process in preparation for the formal Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Board hearing.
Lehigh Southwest Sues California County Over Expansion Delay
Claiming that county planners are stalling efforts to expand its surface mining activities, Lehigh Southwest Cement Co. announced that it is suing Santa Clara County, Calif., for failing to process its application for expansion, according to the Mercury News.
Lehigh in May 2019 submitted an application to amend its reclamation plan, approved by the county board of supervisors in 2012, to increase total mining production at the quarry by approximately 600,000 tpy. The county accepted the application as complete in November 2019, but Lehigh’s complaint alleges that the county has failed to move forward in processing it.
City officials have expressed their concerns about Lehigh’s expansion plans to the county, saying that several of its components are outside of the company’s vested rights to conduct quarry surface mining operations on 13 of its parcels.
“The county planning department’s failure to perform its legal obligation to process our application… may undermine the quarry’s ability to operate and to plan for the quarry’s future,” Lehigh director Erika Guerra said in a statement.