Reports from Rhode Island, Canada, California

  • Charlestown, R.I., council members passed two resolutions calling on action from the state as Charlestown joins a growing list of communities that are seeking to resurrect legislation first presented in 2016 that would let towns better regulate and monitor quarry activity. The resolutions, which were presented by councilor Bonnie Van Slyke and passed unanimously, take aim at addressing combinations of noise pollution, air pollution and nuisance abatement. As requested, the first resolution would improve the process of notifying residents and neighbors. The second would allow towns to take control of regulations and oversight. Van Slyke said her concern is that the current state regulations are nearly a century old and place too much freedom on quarry operators regarding how they resume operations. While there are requirements in place, she said they don’t properly protect the neighbors most impacted by the operations, according to the Chariho Times.
  • The campaign to stop a Burlington, Ontario, Canada, quarry has joined a wider movement hoping to put a temporary pause on new aggregate extraction sites across Ontario. As the spring provincial election draws near, politicians are being pressured to re-examine the rules for an industry they say advances climate change, displaces wildlife and uses precious groundwater resources. The Reform Gravel Mining Coalition is a provincewide alliance of individuals from areas containing quarries and several advocacy groups, including Conserving our Rural Ecosystems (CORE), the Burlington group fighting against the expansion of the Nelson Aggregates quarry at Mount Nemo, according to the CBC.
  • The Port of Oakland, Calif., board approved a proposal to build an open-air sand and gravel plant that district officials and environmental activists warned would pollute the neighborhood. A 12-year lease the port’s board of commissioners signed off on will allow Eagle Rock Aggregates to build the storage and distribution operation on 18 acres at the port. The sand material would primarily be distributed for ready-mix concrete used in Bay Area construction projects, according to the Mercury News.

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