February 2008 – State & Province News
by Therese Dunphy, Executive Editor
To keep up to date with this breakdown of news in the U.S. and Canada, visit www.aggman.com for daily updates.
Vulcan Materials Co. recently sold $1.2 billion of bonds in its biggest offering ever, Bloomberg News reports. The sale included $300 million of three-year notes, $300 million of five-year debt, $350 million of 10-year securities, and $250 million of 30-year bonds. Proceeds from the sale will pay off debt incurred by Vulcan when it purchased Florida Rock Industries Inc. in November 2007.
The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) purchased a plane that is being used to locate construction sites, sand and gravel pits, and mining sites that haven’t applied for environmental permits or aren’t following requirements to prevent pollution. The Birmingham News reports that 917 sites with illegal pollution or other problems have been discovered so far. A total of 851 sites required follow-up and 257 enforcement actions have been initiated. Troy Glenn, director of the ADEM, told the newspaper that the plane saves time and money, allowing inspectors to cover more territory more quickly, and then follow up on the ground. From one meeting, $500,000 in new permits were generated.
After reaching a five-year agreement with Eklutna Inc., Alaska Aggregate Products (AAP) recently began development of the Native-owned land. By the third month of operation, the sand and gravel pit was processing 100,000 tons of aggregate, Alaska Business Monthly reports. According to reports, up to 50 million tons of aggregate could be extracted from the site, which is expected to have a significant impact on the Anchorage market.
The Fresno County Planning Commission tentatively granted approval for a gravel mine on the Kings River southeast of Sanger. The Fresno Bee reports that Calaveras Materials Inc. wants to mine up to a million tons per year of gravel from the 315-acre site. The mine is one of three major mines being proposed for the area, which is quickly becoming the metropolitan area’s new source of sand and gravel after decades of mining along the San Joaquin River. Calaveras Materials had previously received a permit for the area, but concluded the costs were too high when the county Board of Supervisors required it to rebuild a bridge and make road improvements. Since then, the county has been promised that federal funding will pay most of the cost for a new bridge, while Calaveras committed to paying a portion of the remaining cost.
Clear Creek Water Providers LLC launched a proposal for its MMRR Quarry near in Clear Creek Canyon. According to The Denver Post, the site would produce 1 million tons of aggregate annually. The company has received state mining board approval and has submitted a request for a special-use permit to operate a quarry on the 530-acre site. Developers have been in discussions with the Gilpin County Planning Commission, but at Aggregates Manager press time, no decision had been made.
Regional water managers tentatively approved a Port St. Lucie man’s request to withdraw up to 2.5 million gallons of water per day from about 20 feet below ground level, according to the Press Journal. The request is part of a sand mining project on a former citrus grove near Vero Beach. John Cairns, a Port St. Lucie dentist, made the request to pump the water and to mine a 23.7-acre pit on 80 acres in south Indian River County. A spokesperson for the St. Johns River Water Management District said that request would involve moving water around, but not removing water from the table — except for minimal amounts lost to evaporation. A county commissioner expressed doubts on that opinion and asked her colleagues to consider objecting to the approval.
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