State and Province News July 2013
by Therese Dunphy, Editor-in-Chief
To keep up to date with this breakdown of news in the United States and Canada, visit
www.AggMan.com for daily updates.
The Baranof Island Housing Authority (BIHA) is seeking permission to expand its Sitka quarry from 18.8 acres to 36 acres, The Daily Sitka Sentinel reports. Safety precautions, additional product demand, and future development are driving the request, the company reports, noting that the current rock walls formed by excavation are too steep and it leaves the area unsafe for future development. If approved, the expanded operation would be able to triple its estimated reserves of 95,000 cubic yards.
The Redland City Council refused Barro Group’s application to expand its Mount Cotton quarry operations, paving the way for the operator to challenge the decision in the Planning and Environment Court. According to The Bayside Bulletin, one councilor, Julie Talty, announced that she “disagreed with an officer recommendation to approve the project and urged her nine elected colleagues to refuse the application.” Only one councilor voted against Talty’s recommendation. Both the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection have issued approvals for the project to the Redland City Council.
NBCConnecticut.com reports that, in early June, a man was transported to a local hospital after falling about 30 feet down an embankment in a Portland quarry during the early morning hours. Police and fire department officials responded to the report of a fall victim and found that a homeless man who had been camping at the site fell down the embankment. He broke his ankle and was transported to a local hospital for medical treatment.
In early June, Douglas County commissioners said the operator of the Big Springs Quarry, near Lecompton, can mine the area in any sequence it prefers, regardless of how the sections of the property are numbered in their permit. According to LJWorld.com, the 720-acre operation was originally divided into six phases, and the operator was required to mine and reclaim one phase at a time before moving to the next phase. When a subsequent owner challenged the sequential mining requirement, two of three commissioners agreed that the operator could mine in whatever order it preferred, as long as reclamation was completed on each phase before beginning the next.
The Legislature rejected Maple Grove’s request to use extra taxes to fund redevelopment of gravel mines and pits. According to the Star Tribune, that vote delays plans to redevelop Maple Grove gravel mines and pits by at least another year. The city wanted to use extra taxes eventually generated from new corporate offices and industrial warehouses to pay for roads and other infrastructure improvements. The community has about 1,100 acres of gravel mining, and, as those reserves are depleted, wants to use a tax-increment financing district to fund the $100 million in streets, sewers, and infrastructure needed to develop about 600 acres into offices and warehouses.
Through the efforts of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and community involvement, two suspects were charged with stealing 100 pounds of explosives from a local quarry. The Lincoln County Journal reports that Joshua Wilcockson and Dylan Huber had been bragging about taking the explosives. Huber told detectives that the two had been riding an ATV and drinking beer at the quarry when they observed large pieces of scrap metal lying around. They got Wilcockson’s truck to take the metal and broke into a secured trailer where they found the explosives. All explosives were recovered.
Summit Proppants representatives moderated a public hearing with the Missouri Department of Resources regarding its application for a permit to build a sand quarry in St. Genevieve County. According to the St. Genevieve Herald, more than 120 people, including State Sen. Gary Romine, State Rep. Kevin Engler, and three county commissioners, attended the meeting. The operator’s proposal for a 75-acre mine site drew concerns about noise, truck traffic, public safety, streams and wildlife, groundwater, air quality, health, and property value. The operator repeatedly made pledges to be a good neighbor during the meeting.
More than 1.2 million pounds of fine-grade sand was unloaded in Atlantic City in early June as the area prepared for the World Championship of Sand Sculpting. Tuckahoe Sand and Gravel provided the sand, which had to be both fine and sticky to allow for sculptures as high as 14 feet and carving of intricate details. Shorenewstoday.com reports that seven dump trucks crossed the Atlantic City Boardwalk to deliver 28 loads of competition-grade sand. A total of 27 sculptors from 13 countries were expected to compete in the event.
Three suspects were arrested on charges of breaking and entering and theft of copper wire from a Martin Marietta Material’s quarry in Fountain. According to The Daily Reflector, the suspects entered the business through the office and cut off and removed 700 feet of copper wire. An investigation led to a metal recycler where the copper wire was sold. John Warlick, Robert Brady, and Derek Peele were charged with breaking and entering, felony larceny, and injury to property of non-ferrous metal. Warlick was also charged with obtaining property by false pretense by selling the metal wire and unlawful transport of more than 25 pounds of copper wire on state highways.
Delta Sand & Gravel has asked the Lane County Board of Commissioners to review its request to expand its Division Avenue pits by approximately 70 acres. The Register Guard reports that the operator was previously rejected by the Lane County planning director and a Lane County hearings official on the grounds that the proposed site is not designated by the county for sand and gravel extraction and can’t be mined under the permit the operator seeks. At Aggregates Manager’s press time, the Board of Commissioners was set to hear arguments from the operator and the county planning staff, which has asked the commissioners to rebuff Delta’s request.
In June, the 100-year-old Liberty Derrick was at work at the Quarry Park and Nature Reserve. According to The St. Cloud Times, the derrick was in operation as part of Waite Park’s summer festival. From 1900 to 1950, derricks were used to lift blocks of granite from the quarries. During a demonstration period, the derrick lifted a 4-ton block of granite from the quarry floor.
Federal budget cuts have led to reduced operating hours of one of the state’s most popular dinosaur destinations — the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the museum, which features the highest concentration of Jurassic dinosaur bones ever found, will be open on Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Approximately 5,000 visitors go to the museum each year, and bones found in the quarry are on display in 65 museums, including the Natural History Museum of Utah and Price’s Prehistoric Museum.
The Virginia Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit that challenged Vulcan Materials’ permit for a sand and gravel operation along the Rappahannock River. According to The Washington Post, the unanimous decision affirms an earlier ruling by Caroline County Circuit Judge Joseph Ellis, who tossed out the lawsuit last year. Property owners and a NIMBY group, Friends of the Rappahannock, filed the lawsuit against the Caroline County Board of Supervisors, which approved the mine permit. The Post reports that the plaintiffs claimed the mine would “interfere with their recreational use of the river, ruin the scenery, and pose environmental and health risks.” The justices agreed with the circuit judge’s finding that the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate they would be any more affected that the rest of the general public.
Paris, Ontario, Mayor Ron Eddy pushed for stronger wording in draft submission from Director of Water Alex Davidson to the provincial environmental registry concerning Dufferin Aggregate’s plans for an aggregate operation in Paris. The group unanimously approved the draft, but asked that the draft be revised to use stronger wording. According to ParisStarOnline, Eddy suggested that any situation stating that Dufferin “should” do something should be changed to “must” do something.