State and Province News August 2010
Transportation issues are at the top of the agenda for numerous state politicians, including state Sen. Sean Kean and Gov. Chris Christy. The Star-Ledger reports that Christie plans to refinance the state’s Transportation Trust Fund bonds in October to raise the additional $800 million needed to sustain the fund for another year. The fund is expected to run out of money for new road projects by July 2011. Sen. Kean has pitched the idea of a fuel tax increase. He says that a five-cent increase in the 14.5-cent portion of the gasoline tax would generate $250 million.
The Utah Best of State Organization announced that Staker Parson Companies was selected as the 2010 Best of State Medal Winner in the Manufacturing-Mineral Mining/Stone Quarrying category. It is the seventh year the company has won the award. “We are honored to be recognized among other top businesses in the state,” said Scott Parson, Staker Parson Companies CEO. “We strive to be the preferred source by building quality, service, and innovation into every project with which we are involved.” The program is awarded to individuals, businesses, and organizations that excel in their endeavors, use innovative approaches or methods, and contribute to a better quality of life in Utah.
Lafarge North America opened doors at its news headquarters in Reston. The space has been designed to maximize the use of recycled materials and create a space that will use electricity, water, and other resources in a more efficient manner. “Moving to our new office has given us the opportunity to reduce our square footage, reduce our fixed costs, and, most importantly, increase the energy efficiency of our North American headquarters,” said Yvon Brind’Amour, senior vice president of finance for Lafarge North America. Many of the sustainable features incorporated into the new headquarters — including interior concrete walkways with lower release of VOC compared to carpet and gypsum wallboard that uses 99 percent recycled material — are products offered by the company.
The state Department of Transportation (DOT) has voiced concerns about truck traffic to two existing quarries and one proposed quarry on Pope Resources Inc. property along State Route 104 that is leased to the three groups. Ptleader.com reports there are no turn lanes on the route, and the DOT has told one group, Iron Mountain Quarry, that it does not have access to use it for the quarry. A second company, Shine Quarry, uses the same access to its 40-acre mining operation. A spokesman for the DOT said nothing was imminent in terms of the state trying to stop the smaller company from using SR 104 for access. The third company, Miles Sand & Gravel, plans to spend up to $1 million to build turn lanes on the road next year. According to the DOT, it discovered that Pope Resources has a permit that allows for tree-farming products to be taken from the area, but not gravel or crushed stone.
The Whatcom County hearing examiner sided with Concrete Nor’West in a dispute over the extent of environmental study needed to rezone land for possible future gravel mining. According to The Bellingham Herald, the company applied to the county to designate 280 acres in the South Fork Valley as mineral lands that could be mined in the future. County planners decided the designation would be allowed based on several conditions, including one that the designation wouldn’t take effect until after the company submitted a plan to mine, planners analyzed the proposed operations’ environmental impacts, and the county and company signed a deal aimed at addressing the impacts. The examiner said that the planners didn’t have the authority to require that condition, which would alter procedures approved by the legislature and County Council.
MORE FROM Articles
SUBSCRIBE & FOLLOW
- Vulcan shareholders reject board changes at annual meeting939 Views
- Excavators uncover ancient quarry in Jerusalem924 Views
- Former gravel quarry-turned-landfill transforms into nature reserve433 Views
- Americans consume 3 million pounds of minerals in a lifetime240 Views
- Diesel fuel price report: May 13, 2013185 Views