April 2009 – State & Province News
Although Farnsworth Development Inc.’s proposal to complete mining on a partially mined, but inactive pit has not yet been approved by the Bureau of Land Management, neighbors are complaining about its potential impact on traffic, noise, and dust. According to the Farmington Daily News, neighbors, including a developer, want the company to find somewhere else to mine. The company has applied for a permit with the New Mexico Environment Department to mine seven days a week and up to 52 weeks a year at a rate of up to 500 tons per hour. City Manager David Velasquez told the newspaper that he shared their concerns, but said people should call the bureau to discuss them.
A Montana man who says he wants to mine gravel on the Badlands ranch where Theodore Roosevelt once ran his cattle is comparing his dispute with the U.S. Forest Service to an Old West stare down, the Associated Press reports. Roger Lothspeich says he owns half the mineral and gravel rights beneath the 5,200-acre ranch and claims his portion of subsurface rights amounts to $10 million in high-grade gravel. “I’m not blinking,” he told the news agency. “I’m going to get my gravel, or write me a check and I’ll go away.” Lothspeich says he purchased half of the property’s mineral rights from the Connell family who sold the other half of mineral rights and the property to the Eberts family in 1993 for $800,000. In 2007, the Forest Service bought the property, but no mineral rights from the Eberts family for $5.3 million. The Eberts family has expressed no interest in exercising its mineral rights. Lothspeich has approached the Forest Service and the Sierra Club, saying that he will sell the rights to anyone willing to pay him $2.5 million. “If he has a legitimate claim, it would be an unbelievable and pretty spectacular failure on behalf of the Forest Service not to have addressed that issue,” Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) told the agency. “They’re going to have a lot of egg on their face, if they didn’t deal with the mineral rights.”
State Sen. Lisa Boscola announced that $1 million in state funds were allocated for a plan to fill a quarry and develop it. According to lehighvalleylive.com, Slate Hills Enterprises was awarded a Growing Greener grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection. The company wants to fill in a 5-acre quarry near Washington Township and level its 39-acre property for development. “Whenever you can turn a dangerous, deep hole into an economic development opportunity, you know you’ve accomplished something,” Boscola proclaimed in a news release. The quarry is 550 feet deep and filled with water.
Glacier Northwest agreed to pay $20,000 in back wages to two women to settle a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). According to the agency’s lawsuit, the company violated the Equal Pay Act when it paid its female cement terminal operators at wage rates which were substantially less than the rates paid to its male employees performing substantially equal work. The company also agreed to provide anti-discrimination training for its managers, supervisors, and employees; establish policies and procedures to address discrimination issues; provide information to the EEOC concerning any future discrimination complaints; and allow EEOC to monitor the work site for the next two years.
Pope Resources and Iron Mountain Quarry LLC held a public meeting on its proposed 142-acre basalt quarry near Port Ludlow, the Peninsula Daily News reports. John Shea, spokesman for Pope Resources, said its goal was to clear up a misunderstanding regarding quarry operations and its exact location. Shea said Iron Mountain Quarry also began an advertising campaign to explain some of the specifics of the proposed quarry operation, which is now called the New Shine Quarry. Granite Falls-based Iron Mountain Quarry LLC has proposed the basalt rock quarry about 2 miles southeast of Port Ludlow. It would be developed on land it leases from Pope Resources.
Approximately 180 residents attended an informal, citizen-led meeting regarding Canadian Sand and Proppant’s proposal to open a sand and gravel operation in Chippewa Falls. According to The Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire assistant professor Crispin Hayes Pierce told the crowd about the dangers of silicosis and other airborne and waterborne pollutants that he said could cause harmful health effects as a result of the operation. No representative from the company was present at the meeting, but it planned an open house and forum.
MORE FROM Articles
SUBSCRIBE & FOLLOW
- Former gravel quarry-turned-landfill transforms into nature reserve518 Views
- North Carolina grants Martin Marietta water quality certification for limestone quarry255 Views
- Vulcan-blocking bill dies in Alabama legislature247 Views
- Road restrictions may stop quarry construction in Kentucky212 Views
- Two suspects charged with arson in Jack’s Mountain Quarry case in Virginia126 Views