July 2009 – State & Province News
Douglas County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a court-sanctioned agreement with Mid-States Materials that outlines reclamation plans and other land-use regulations for the site, bought by the company in 2007. According to the Lawrence Journal World, the company must now submit a detailed reclamation plan, including a drainage study, for several phases of the quarry to the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Department. One goal of reclamation, the newspaper reports, is to remove an overburden pile along one portion of the site. County commissioners approved the agreement, but said it left the door open for neighboring property owners to comment in the future when approving reclamation plans with the company.
Opponents of a proposed Freetown quarry drew the ire of town selectmen after placing fliers on the windshields of cars at a local high school. The Herald News reports that the selectmen chairperson and a spokesperson for the company seeking the permit said that the fliers contained false and misleading statements. The one-page flier claims that silica dust from quarries has been proven “to cause lung cancer, silicosis, kidney failure, and immune system disorders.” It also claimed that blasting can cause wells to go dry and contaminate drinking water. The chairperson noted that she has worked with the company to ensure that the project complies with state and federal regulations.