State and Province News May 2014
To keep up to date with this breakdown of news in the United States and Canada, visit
www.AggMan.com for daily updates.
by Therese Dunphy, Editor-in-Chief
Kane Barker, an assistant professor of chemistry and chair of the Department of Natural Sciences at Shorter University, received the 2013-14 Vulcan Materials Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award. CVN News reports that the $1,000 award is given to a junior faculty member who displays strong campus leadership, creative course development, pioneering teaching methodology, and instruction support, along with model classroom teaching. The professor must also be helpful in advising students and illustrate a willingness to spend individual time with students to assist them academically. Barker holds a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Georgia Tech and teaches chemistry, quantitative analysis, instrumental analysis, inorganic chemistry, and scientific literacy.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District installed a new air quality station on the grounds of Valley View Elementary School in Duarte. According to The Pasadena Star-News, the station will monitor PM10 particles near the boundary between the school and Vulcan Materials Co.’s operation. The city of Duarte previously spent $750,000 to bar the neighboring community of Azusa from allowing the operations to be moved to the location. Barbara Goodrich-Welk, Vulcan’s manager of external affairs, told the newspaper that the project’s emissions are “below AQMD thresholds established to govern air quality,” but understood residents’ concerns. “We applaud the city of Duarte for monitoring and working with the AQMD,” she said, “and we are confident in our operations and the environmental management systems we’ve put in place to safeguard human health.”
Martin Marietta’s acquisition of former Lafarge operations in Colorado appears to be yielding strong dividends. The Coloradoan.com reports that its study of funds collected through the Keep Fort Collins Great Tax, a .85-percent sales tax approved in 2010, shows that the company received almost $10 million in contracts for street work throughout the city. To date, $21.5 million have been spent on street maintenance and repair work. Road improvements were a top priority for funds generated by the voter-approved measure. To date, the city has collected $65 million and anticipates proceeds of approximately $240 million over its 10-year life.
According to myrecordjournal.com, York Hill Trap Rock Quarry Co. has received tentative approval for a permit to discharge storm water runoff from its mining activities into Harbor Brook, as well as groundwater in the Quinnipiac River watershed. Flood Control Implementation Agency Chairman Phil Ashton told the news agency that it was a “normal permit” needed because sediment could run into the brook. He added, “I’d be more concerned from the (sand) and runoff from the streets.”
Flowery Branch City Council unanimously approved the 41-acre expansion of Vulcan Material Co.’s quarry. AccessNorthGa.com reports that all parties were able to resolve concerns regarding the impact of zoning and annexation of adjacent properties in order to facilitate the agreement. Mayor Mike Miller told the news outlet that Vulcan committed to make additional efforts to beautify the corridor along Hog Mountain Road so that residents would not feel a negative impact from the expansion.
An April fire at a site in Star damaged three semi trucks belonging Idaho Sand and Gravel. According to KTVB.com, the company had 17 trucks at the site when the fire broke out. Investigators found no evidence of arson. All signs pointed to an electrical issue in the cab of one of the trucks. An Idaho Sand and Gravel employee said the fire caused more than $500,000 in damage.
Hughes Brothers is suing the town of Eddington over a moratorium that would impact its plans for a quarry there. WABI TV5 reports the operator applied for a permit last fall. Janet Hughes, the company’s environmental manager, told the television station that the planning board assured them that a initiative on future quarry applications would not affect them, but then held a secret session which changed the moratorium — making it retroactive for 180 days. On April 8, voters approved the moratorium. Hughes told reporters that the town would be better off to allow it to move forward with the permit it requested; otherwise, it would have to proceed with plans for a smaller operation that is closer to houses.
Actor Jeff Daniels is speaking out against ready-mix producer McCoig Materials’ effort to open a mine north of Chelsea. Radio station 89.1 WEMU hosted Dr. Lynn Walter, professor emerita of geology at the University of Michigan, to discuss environmental impacts of sand mining on its program, Issues of the Environment. The radio station’s website reports that the mine would be located on land owned by the Donald and Janet L. Cunningham Trust. It reported that a state law, Act 110, says, “an ordinance shall not prevent the extraction, by mining, of valuable natural resources from any property unless very serious consequences would result from the extraction of those natural resources.”
Hunt Midwest Enterprises Inc. announced that it sold its interest in Hunt Martin Materials LLC to its joint venture partner, Martin Marietta Materials Inc. Kansas City Business Journal described the joint venture as the region’s largest supplier of crushed limestone. The business includes 40 locations with 16 fixed and portable plants. “This sale is a strategic reallocation of resources to continue the expansion of our real estate development activities and geographic reach of Hunt Midwest Real Estate Development Inc.,” Don Hagan, CFO for Hunt Midwest, told the news outlet.
Five men were arrested for riding motorcycles in a sand bank in Schaghticoke. The Record notes that the five — Angelo Losavio, Shane Stiles, Shane Dominy, Nicholas Slish, and Joshua Coreno — were riding on stockpiles of mason sand at the Fane sand and gravel bank and causing material contamination. Each was charged with criminal trespass and criminal mischief.
Martin Marietta Materials earned the top aggregates producer slot in InformationWeek’s “Elite 100” list, which ranks the nation’s most innovative users of business technology by evaluating “core areas of operations, including technology deployment, IT budgets, business-technology infrastructure, and IT strategies.” The magazine considers companies with a minimum of $250 million in annual revenue. According to the Triangle Business Journal, Martin Marietta was recognized for creating an automated weighing and payment system that allows some of its quarries to run with no ticketing staff.