May 2010 – State and Province News
To keep up to date with this breakdown of news in the United States and Canada, visit www.AggMan.com for daily updates.
Maricopa County’s Air Quality Department staff presented a draft policy that proposes that applicants for new and modified permits conduct an impact analysis of PM10 dust emissions on air quality. The Arizona Republic reports that if the emission is equal to or exceeds a significant impact level, then a cumulative analysis kicks in. County Permit Division Manager Doug Erwin told the newspaper that the policy “will give us the authority to deny permits.” The county exceeds the federal standard for dust emissions, and the policy is part of a county “5-percent plan” submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency for approval. Members of the sand and gravel industry oppose the policy. “This policy must be based on science and not assumptions,” said Steve Trussell, executive director of the Arizona Rock Products Association. “We are absolutely opposed to it because of what it will unintentionally create.”
Graniterock is hosting its Third Annual Construction Career Day on May 14 at its A.R. Wilson Quarry in Aromas. The day is designed for Santa Cruz County high school students and will highlight career paths in the construction industry. The day will include a tour of the quarry. Bruce W. Woolpert, president and CEO of Graniterock, will address the students. Afterward, more than 25 different professionals will offer presentations on various construction and green building occupations.
Residents in Davenport will pay substantially more for utilities following the closure of Cemex’s plant, which had long managed and largely paid for the community’s water and sewer service. According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, residents and businesses could now pay hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars more each year. The county’s Public Works records indicate that sewer rates could increase nearly 75 percent, with a flat residential fee of approximately $2,500 per year. Water rates could rise 10 percent, with a flat annual fee of $1,500 for households. The charges are levied on twice-a-year property tax bills. Businesses could face even more significant hikes.
The Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers (IAAP) is asking aggregate producers and other construction materials operators to lobby state Senators against H.B. 6112. The bill, sponsored in the House by Rep. Bob Flider (D-101, Decatur) was picked up in the Senate by Sen. James Meeks (D-15, Calumet City). According to the association’s newsletter, the bill provides that workers who transport aggregates, ready-mixed concrete, hot-mix asphalt, and/or excavated materials to or from a public works project should receive the same wages and benefits paid to a trucker directly employed on a public works project. Further, it provides that workers who transport non-aggregates materials or equipment are not deemed to be employed upon public works and, therefore, are not required to be paid prevailing wages. IAAP said the bill will “substantially increase direct costs associated with building and maintaining schools, roads, and other public works.” It also contends that the bill is unconstitutional.
Vulcan Materials Co.’s Havre de Grace Quarry in Havre de Grace received an Excellence in Community Relations Gold Award from the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association for its efforts with work with its Adopt-a-School program, partnering programs with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Harford County, working with the city of Havre de Grace on several ventures, hosting a Community Outreach Day, and offering plant tours. “Since the arrival of Vulcan to our community, they have become a great partner to Havre de Grace,” said Mayor Wayne H. Dougherty. “Vulcan is a partner who has made a very positive impact for the citizens and very supportive of our youth, schools, volunteer groups, and local government.
Westminster Business Park owners are seeking a sand and gravel mining permit to extend local streets and allow potential clients easier access to industrial lots inside the park, Selectman Laila Michaud told the Sentinel & Enterprise. Bob Hakala, co-owner of the business park, said the new roadway will allow easier access to 12 lots inside the heavily wooded business park. The permit will allow the developers to remove aggregates from certain sections of the business park to allow for construction of the street. A local environmental advocate said that the owners are just looking for a way to excavate more sand and gravel, not for potential businesses.
Schellinger Construction Co. is seeking to extend the hours of operation of its crushing and mining operation off Interstate 15 near Hardy Creek. The Great Falls Tribune reports the hours in the original permit were 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The company is asking the state to approve an amendment to the permit that would expand the hours from 6 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Saturday. A representative for the state Department of Environmental Quality’s Industrial & Energy Minerals Division said the amendments have not been approved, but that the state would require the company to shield its lighting fixtures to minimize the impact of artificial lighting. An expansion of hours would not apply to materials haulage, which would be restricted to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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