April 29, 2013
A group of residents living near Lafarge North America’s stone quarry in Lockport, New York, has filed suit against the Lockport Town Board and is seeking to overturn the board’s decision to allow Lafarge to expand its mining operation, Buffalo News reported.
The group of residents, which calls itself Enough is Enough, claims the board failed to carry out a valid environmental review process before it approved a zoning ordinance amendment that allowed Lafarge to mine a larger area. The expansion moved Lafarge’s mining operation 162 feet closer to Hinman Road, where some of Enough is Enough’s members live.
Residents are questioning the board’s environmental review process because the board voted to approve the zoning ordinance amendment and an environmental assessment form on December 26, 22 days after the board asserted the zoning change would have no impact on the environment.
Barry N. Covert of Buffalo’s Lipsitz Green law firm, which represents Enough is Enough, said board passed the State Environmental Quality Review before completing the form, when the process should go the other way.
Town officials said the board’s declaration in December was proper because it was amending a zoning ordinance rather than undertaking a specific project.
Lafarge said it needed to expand its mining operation in order to stay in business.
According to the Buffalo News report, changing the zoning ordinance was necessary because the original ordinance banned all mining except in the area of Lafarge’s operation.