September 2009 – State & Province News
After three years of development, the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for Granite Construction’s proposed Liberty Quarry has been finalized, the company reports. The DEIR, which is more than 7,000 pages, notes that the quarry provides multiple benefits to the region, reduces traffic on congested freeways, and improves the county’s air quality. “This report confirms what we’ve been saying since the beginning,” said Gary Johnson, aggregate resource development manager for Granite Construction. “This is an ideal location because it’s removed from population centers, has easy access to the freeway, and is not visible from the surrounding community.” The DEIR concluded that the best option is a reduced footprint that would reduce the operation’s size by 20 acres and prohibit access to approximately 13 percent of the reserves.
A Superior Court judge ordered the state Department of Transportation (DOT) to pay nearly $20 million more than it did for a 107-acre Brookfield quarry it took by eminent domain in 2004. According to NewsTimesLive.com, the DOT paid property owner Rock Acquisition LP $4.1 million when it took the land. Judge Barbara Sheedy ordered the agency to pay $22.9 million plus interest on the money from the time of the first payment. In her decision, Sheedy said that because the land’s most favorable use would have been as a quarry, the central issue to the case was the valuation of the reserves. “We worked hard and long for the right result, for a fair result,” said Robert Parker, president and CEO of Rock Acquisition. “All we wanted was fairness.”
Aggregate Industries, Northeast Region Inc., will pay a $2.75 million civil penalty and implement a regional evaluation and compliance program to resolve violations of the Clean Water Act, the Justice Department and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced. The penalty is the largest ever assessed to a nationwide ready-mix company for stormwater violations under the Clean Water Act and is the latest in a series of federal enforcement actions to address stormwater violations from industrial facilities and construction sites around the nation. Under terms of the consent decree, the company will implement pollution control measures, such as closed-loop water recycling systems, to eliminate discharges into surface waters.
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