February 2010 – State & Province News
Franklin County commissioners are scheduled to hear a request from a Jackson Township businessman who wants his 89-acre property to be annexed by Columbus so he can open a gravel quarry. According to ThisWeek Community Newspapers, Dave Jones is seeking annexation because the township won’t allow him to add gravel mining to his zoning permit. He has permission to dig 4 feet for topsoil, but wants to mine gravel to depths of approximately 40 feet. Jones says that the proposed 55-acre mine would create about 10 jobs and that he would donate the resulting man-made lake for creation of a public park when mining is complete.
The Marion County Board of Commissioners approved a proposed aggregate mining operation for a rural area between Stayton and Sublimity. The developer, Phillips Family Limited Partnership LLC, wants to develop 100 acres of a 405-acre property, StatesmanJournal.com reports. The county’s public works department is developing revised requirements with the developer. One requirement is for the developer to pay for a structural analysis and subsequent road improvements or pay for $1 million to $1.5 million worth of up-front improvements to about 5 miles of roads in the area. Commissioners told protesting neighbors that they are required to uphold state law and can regulate noise, dust, and traffic impacts, but cannot address quality of life issues.
Following an opinion from Commonwealth Court Judge Johnny J. Butler that concluded Dorrance Township had properly denied Slusser Brothers’ application for a special exception, variances, and challenges to a township zoning ordinance, the owners are considering an appeal. According to standardspeaker.com, Patrick Bartorillo, general manager of Slusser Brothers’ Small Mountain Quarry — part of Harrisburg-based Pennsy Supply Co. — said the decision would be reviewed.
Rhode Island Ready Mix LLC/Richmond Stone & Sand LLC acquired the assets of the former Richmond Sand & Gravel and Richmond Ready Mix operations. The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports that the deal includes 241 acres of real estate in Wyoming as well as the inventory, rolling stock, machinery, equipment, and trade names.
Rogers Group received unanimous approval from the Clinton Planning Commission for its proposed quarry. According to The Oak Ridger, berms will be created around the abandoned quarry before it reopens. Site work was expected to begin early this year. Clinton Building Official Curtis Perez told the newspaper that Rogers Group had obtained the necessary water and air permits for the quarry.
Texas Industries Inc. (TXI) faces another delay as it seeks approval for a gravel quarry on 2,000 acres east of Austin. Stateman.com reports that Travis County Commissioner Sarah Eckhardt suggested the formation of a committee comprised of neighbors, TXI employees, and county staffers to review the operation’s impact on neighbors. Lawyers for county officials told them they lack legal authority to deny the project without strong evidence that nearby residents’ health would be damaged. Commissioners followed Eckhardt’s recommendation and intend for the committee to explore ways to monitor air quality, water quality, and other aspects of quarry operations over which no government entity has jurisdiction. Eckhardt acknowledged that the committee’s ability to impose restrictions on the company is uncertain.
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VA DEQ) recognized Luck Stone’s Powhatan and Spotsylvania Quarries for achieving E3 status on Dec. 16. Luck Stone is a member of the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program, a voluntary program sponsored by the VA DEQ that recognizes facilities that have made a commitment to continuous environmental improvement. There are three levels of achievement, starting at E2 (an Environmental Enterprise). Once a facility has implemented an Environmental Management System (EMS) and documented significant objectives and goals for environmental improvement, the facility can then be promoted to the level of E3 (Exemplary Environmental Enterprise), a level at which greater independence and responsibility are given to the recognized organization. Luck Stone’s Powhatan and Spotsylvania quarries are the only quarries in Virginia to be recognized at an advanced level. “As the first member of the mining industry to be recognized as an Exemplary Environmental Enterprise in the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program, we are extremely proud of the Spotsylvania and Powhatan Quarries,” said Mark Williams, environmental manager for Luck Stone.