State and Province News January 2012
Work has begun on the last remaining portions of the Las Vegas Beltway. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas Paving began work on the 7-mile, $117 million project after more than a year in delays. Fisher Sand and Gravel filed a federal lawsuit when its $112.2 million bid was rejected and alleged that commissioners were biased toward union companies. Las Vegas Paving is a union company. The dispute was settled when the county agreed to pay Fisher $5 million to walk away from the project. Las Vegas Paving is paying a portion of the settlement, with the remainder coming from interest earned on the project funding that has been held in escrow since 2009.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation has issued a permit for Elam Sand and Gravel Corp.’s mine in West Bloomfield. It is seeking permission to operate a 45-acre parcel. The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports the operator still needs a special-use permit from the town of West Bloomfield. The town has adopted a moratorium on new special-use permits, and the company has filed lawsuits to force the town to void the moratorium and act on its permit application.
Vulcan Materials Co.’s charitable foundation made a $25,000, five-year pledge to Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham on behalf of its Rockingham Quarry employees and families. According to the Richmond County Daily Journal, the donation will help fund the children’s museum, which is designed to stimulate adventure in learning and stimulating play. “Supporting educational programs is one example of Vulcan’s commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen in the communities in which we operate,” Plant Manager Charles Heatherly told the newspaper. “Supporting Discovery Place KIDS is a natural extension of our educational and stewardship initiatives, and we look forward to being a part of their exciting programs in this community.”
Summit Materials made a series of acquisitions in Texas, including Industrial Asphalt, Inc., Asphalt Paving Co. of Austin, Inc., and Ramming Paving Co., Ltd. The acquisition includes quarries, asphalt plants, and paving services. “We are very pleased to welcome the new companies and their employees to Summit,” Tom Hill, former CEO of Oldcastle, Inc. and current CEO of Summit Materials, said in a press release. “These businesses are a great combination, and together with RK Hall in northeast Texas, they expand Summit’s presence in the state.” Since it was formed in 2009, Summit Materials has completed 20 acquisitions.
Wm. Dickson Co. has been fined $24,000 by the Washington State Department of Ecology for discharging sediment-laden water in a storm drain that emptied into a salmon-bearing creek. According to the state agency, the operator’s permit limits the amount of turbidity that the gravel operation can discharge and prohibits any discharge that violates the state’s water quality standards for turbidity. It found that the source of the turbid water was a hole in the bottom of the pit where a pump was used to dewater the pit excavation over a bank into a creek. The operator said he plans to update his site management plan to prevent future discharge of turbid water into Swan Creek.
The Eau Claire County Board adopted a moratorium that freezes frac sand mine development in the county for six months. According to The Leader-Telegram, the board voted 24 to 2 to approve the measure, which lasts until May 31. During that time, county officials say they plan to study the effects of sand mines on public health and the environment. Some supervisors sought quick passage of the moratorium because two sand mines have been proposed in the county during recent months. It impacts any company that had not begun mine construction as of Nov. 16.
A 31-year-old Northern Alberta quarry worker was killed on Nov. 7 after his arm was caught in a conveyor at Milestone Quarry, south of Fort McMurray. CBC News reports that the man was removing excess gravel when he was pulled into the conveyor’s rollers. A stop work order was issued at Surmont Sand and Gravel while investigators for Occupational Health and Safety investigated the incident.
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