January 2008 – State & Province News
Opponents of mining on Maury Island have turned to deeds of sale that are nearly a century old in their latest effort to stop mining, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. According to the newspaper, members of Preserve Our Island say that deeds say that the state holds the rights to “all oils, gases, coal, ores, minerals, and fossils of every name, kind, or description, and which may be in or upon said lands above describe, or any part thereof.” Glacier Northwest currently operates those lands. Spokespeople for both the company and the state say that gravel rights were included in the sale of the property. Members of the opposition group said they will pursue the fight about mineral rights. They have written state and county leaders and are considering legal action to get a ruling on the question of ownership rights.
An Ontario gravel producer received reinforcements from the Wellington County Roads Committee as local citizens lobbied for the company to pay nearly $1.5 million in bridge and road construction. According to the Guelph Mercury, two residents claimed that a 31-year-old agreement required James Dick Construction Ltd. to pay for reconstruction of the 3-kilometer roadway. The two gave committee members copies of several documents, including a 1977 agreement between the former Township of Erin and Premier Concrete Products. In that agreement, the concrete company agreed to pay for improvements to the road. James Dick later bought the site. A county engineer noted that the county did get a legal opinion on the agreement, but that it was not binding. A resource manager for James Dick told the newspaper that it had discussed the matter with town officials years ago and has since paid for improvements to Sideroad 17, has paid for reconstruction of a small portion of the town line road, and has donated a portion of its frontage for the widening of the road.
Mine Owner Suggests Regulations Instead of a Complete Moratorium on Mining
The Indian River County Commission is considering a moratorium on new mining permits in response to concerns about operations, the Press Journal reports. Florida mining already has been deeply impacted by prohibitions on mining within the Lake Belt region.
Scott Sanders, owner of the Wild Turkey Sand Mine, has proposed a series of restrictions that he believes should be upheld by other producers rather than dealing with a moratorium. Because Sanders’ operation was already in the process of being permitted prior to any moratorium, his site would have been grandfathered for production.
“This isn’t the time to shut down business in the county,” Sanders told the newspaper. Instead, the following restrictions have been suggested by Wild Turkey:
Hiring a traffic officer to enforce speed limits during the hours of operation
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