July 2009 – State & Province News
An equipment fire at an Ashbury sand and gravel pit caused a small fuel spill, the Ashbury Park Press reports. A trommel screen caught fire at Shore Sand and Gravel. Firefighters and police were called to the scene and were able to extinguish the fire before it spread. A hazmat team was called in to handle containment and clean-up of a small amount of fuel that leaked from the screen to the ground.
A former executive at Fisher Sand and Gravel has pleaded guilty to nine felony charges of federal income tax fraud. According to the Associated Press, Michael Fisher’s crimes cost the government more than $600,000 in unpaid taxes from 2001 to 2004. In court, Fisher admitted to using company funds to pay personal expenses. He also admitted to filing bogus personal and corporate tax returns to hide what he did. The judge set a sentencing date of Aug. 17. Eight of the nine felonies carry a maximum penalty of three years in prison. A ninth conspiracy charge carries a penalty of up to five years in prison. Each penalty also carries a possible fine of up to $250,000. Two other company executives await sentencing for their roles in the tax fraud.
Martin Stone Quarries Inc. has asked the state to approve a plan that would expand its mine near Bechtelsville from 205 to 349 acres and to mine to a depth of 800 feet. The Reading Eagle reports that the plan calls for increasing water pumped from the site. Company Vice President Rod Martin told the newspaper that he expects the permitting process to take 12 to 18 months, but that the quarry would expand in phases over 10 to 30 years. Colebrookdale Township has already approved the expansion. State approval is the company’s final hurdle.
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