State and Province News August 2011
West Cumberland voters overwhelmingly approved a ban on commercial gravel operations in rural residential neighborhoods. According to the Portland Press Herald, the vote was 862 to 507 in favor of the first citizen-initiated referendum to change an ordinance in the town’s history. Last fall, the town halted a gravel operation on land owned by Elvin and Randy Copp because it did not have the correct permits. A six-month moratorium was then imposed on new gravel pit applications. Rural residential zones cover about 80 percent of the town. The change does not impact existing aggregate operations in the area.
At Aggregates Manager’s press time, a July 1 state government shutdown appeared imminent. In the absence of a state budget agreement, agencies such as the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) were preparing contingency plans in case contracts are suspended, pending authorized appropriations. The Saint Paul Legal Ledger Capital Report noted MnDOT’s 2011 construction program includes 258 new and ongoing projects valued at $900 million, with another $398 million worth of improvements over four years to state roads rated as poor. Tom Stockert, area vice president for Knife River Corp., told the local publication, “We typically don’t show profits until well after July 1, closer to Labor Day.” The company currently has a state project to make improvements to Highways 30 and 83 in Blue Earth County as well as a $14.4 million Highway 212 project in Renville and McLeod counties.
Elam Sand and Gravel and a former town board member, Gary Evans, filed a lawsuit in the state Supreme Court to force West Bloomfield to act on the company’s application for a special-use permit. According to the Democrat and Chronicle, the lawsuit was filed on June 7. A day later, the town adopted a nine-month moratorium on new special-use permits in the town’s agricultural zone (which includes the mine site). A lawyer for the operator told the newspaper that the moratorium was adopted specifically to stall its application.
Ohio aggregate companies are benefitting from a new state initiative, CSI Ohio, intended as a common-sense initiative to cut the negative impact of red tape on state businesses. Columbus Business First reports that Lieutenant Gov. Mary Taylor is directing the program. With Taylor’s help, Pat Jacomet, executive director of the Ohio Aggregates and Industrial Minerals Association, says his group was able to conclude a decade-long negotiation with the state Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on a package of general permits designed to streamline the ability of aggregate companies to begin new operations. Under the new system, companies agree to abide by specific requirements and environmental protections outlined in a general permit issued by the EPA. Companies can then work immediately on projects by notifying the EPA that they will operate under the general permit.
MORE FROM Articles
SUBSCRIBE & FOLLOW
- Vulcan shareholders reject board changes at annual meeting972 Views
- Former gravel quarry-turned-landfill transforms into nature reserve506 Views
- Americans consume 3 million pounds of minerals in a lifetime245 Views
- North Carolina grants Martin Marietta water quality certification for limestone quarry245 Views
- Road restrictions may stop quarry construction in Kentucky204 Views