State and Province News November 2012
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
The City and Borough of Juneau heard an appeal of a proposed gravel pit and rock crusher in the Montana Creek area and is soon expected to make a decision on the case. According to the Juneau Empire, several homeowners filed an appeal to overturn a planning commission decision to approve a rock crusher proposed for their neighborhood. Their attorney argued that the crusher was not compatible with the surrounding neighborhood, that local code would only allow it if it is used to crush rock for a public road, and that the crusher would be a primary part of the business. The deputy city attorney testified on behalf of the planning commission, noting that “seven reasonable minds reviewed and deliberated on the evidence, they applied a reasonable interpretation of the law to that evidence, and they reached a unanimous, well thought-out decision.”
Beginning in January, a new policy will take effect in Maricopa County. The Arizona Republic reports that the county Board of Supervisors unanimously directed its staff to develop this policy, which is purported to make it easier for those seeking regulatory permits. The policy is expected to include more public hearings on proposed regulatory changes and to increase efforts to notify the public about meetings on “matters of interest.” The changes will impact businesses seeking permits through the county’s Flood Control District and the Air Quality, Environmental Services, Planning and Development, and Transportation departments.
At Aggregates Manager’s press time, Cemex was about to commission a 1 megawatt wind turbine at its Madison Quarry in Yolo County. According to the company, local utility provider PG&E would present a $1.8 million savings check as part of the commissioning ceremony. Expected to attend the event were Congressional candidate Kim Vann (R-Calif.); Karl Watson, Jr., president of Cemex USA; Luis Farias, Cemex’s senior vice president of energy and sustainability; and Matthew Wilson, CEO of Foundation Windpower, which develops, finances, constructs, owns, and operates wind projects.
Cemex sent a letter to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors asking that they reconsider signing off on the environmental review for its project near Jesse Morrow Mountain. The Fresno Bee reports that company spokesman Sara Engdahl indicated the report cost more than $1 million to prepare. In an e-mail, she noted that “Fresno County’s failure to certify the most comprehensive and expensive EIR (environmental impact report) in Fresno County history is legally incorrect and establishes a troubling precedent.”
In mid-September, someone entered Vulcan Material Co.’s Plainfield site and stole two copper welding leads with an estimated value of $555 each. The Plainfield Patch reports that a company truck was also damaged when someone attempted to pry off the handles to gain entry.
A Spring Bay Village Board committee submitted a report that detailed ordinance violations, environmental issues, and suggested remedies at a former mine there. According to the Journal Star, that report could lead the board to approve a long-debated agreement which would allow Dwayne Atherton to purchase the property, reclaim the land, and mine adjacent property he and others own. Some of the violations included setback issues, as well as breaches of contract regarding fence lines, signs, and berm construction.
A team from the Indiana Geological Survey is beginning the final phase of a three-year study to assess the bedrock in western areas near the Brown County line and now wants to expand the project to include all of Bartholomew County. “In terms of geology, Bartholomew County is under-mapped,” research scientist Walter Hasenmueller told The Republic. “We are talking with an individual who might come into the project to map the unconsolidated glacial sediments in eastern Bartholomew County and the river valley under Columbus.” He added that the shale deposit in New Albany, which is 120- to 130-feet thick, is a possible source of petroleum.
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