State & Province News
Robeson County officials took opposing views on Buie Lakes Plantation LLC’s proposed mining operation. According to The Robesonian, County Manager Ricky Harris says he sees the upside of the proposal, noting that it will create jobs and does not require tax relief. John McNeill, mayor of Red Springs, says he doesn’t believe the company will follow through with plans to construct a $22 million processing plant. Despite the controversy and approximately 150 people attending its public meeting, Robeson County Commissioners unanimously granted its request for a conditional-use permit.
Phillyburbs.com reports that sinkholes were among the topics discussed at the first annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Solebury Board of Supervisors, and area residents, regarding New Hope Crushed Stone Quarry’s 80-year-old operation. The meetings are part of a settlement agreement that resulted when the board of supervisors dropped out of a legal battle with the quarry over its plans to expand operations. Michael Kutney, a DEP geologist who oversees New Hope Crushed Stone, said the state’s environmental data does not correlate the sinkholes or neighbor’s dry water wells with mining operations. In fact, he told attendees, “the sinkholes opened up long before the quarry (water) pumping would have had an impact.” Regardless of DEP data, the quarry has hired a consultant to repair the sinkholes before school begins in the fall. Although the board of supervisors dropped its lawsuit, the Solebury School and Primrose Creek Watershed Association are still pursuing legal action against the operation.
Houston-based Cemex introduced the Ecoperating seal to identify products and services in its portfolio of building solutions said to have an outstanding sustainability performance. According to the company, Ecoperating is a seal that was developed through a rigorous internal process that measures the environmental or social impact of a range of its building products, including products like low CO2 cement or concrete, services such as paperless invoicing, and the increased use of alternative fuels derived from industrial, agricultural, and residential waste. The seal was introduced in June in a number of Cemex’s cement and concrete products in Croatia. The company has not listed a date for the availability of Ecoperating products in the United States.
Chantilly Crushed Stone Inc. may close the doors on a half-century-old stone quarry in Loudoun County. The Washington Business Journal reports that it applied to the county to rezone its 338-acre property to make way for a mixed use development comprised of homes, offices, shops, and hotels. If approved, it plans a multi-phase development with the first phase consisting of more than 3 million square feet of commercial space and 2,500 homes.
Caledonia public works committee members unanimously approved an annual renewal of Vulcan Materials Co.’s explosive use permit. According to the Caledonia Patch, the company blasts two to three times a week at its operation along Three Mile Road. During the meeting, Plant Manager D.J. Leemon explained how the company uses a consultant to gather baseline information on blast vibrations in order to assess its impact — or lack thereof — on neighboring properties.
The Dunn County Board of Adjustment rejected FG Mineral’s request to allow its frac sand mine to increase the number of truckloads hauled each day. The Leader-Telegram reports that the operator wanted to increase its maximum number of trucks from 80 to 100 per day. The majority of the board members indicated that they did not believe the company proved that there was a substantial enough change in its operations to warrant a modification of the special-use permit.
Wood County highway commissioners sent hauling agreements to three Marshfield frac sand companies, The Marshfield News reports. The agreements require operators to pay non-negotiable rates for road upgrades and set an Aug. 1, 2012, effective date for the contracts. CARBO Ceramics, Completion Industrial Minerals, and Panther Creek Sand received the agreements. A fourth area operator, Northern Frac, signed a road usage agreement last fall. The agreements require each company to pay the county a fee ranging from 13 to 40 cents per-ton-per-mile. According to county estimates, Completion would owe about $2.9 million, while CARBO and Panther Creek, which have similar routes, would owe a combined $5.84 million. Northern Frac’s share is estimated at $1.39 million. Lance Pliml, Wood County Board chairman, told the newspaper that the contracts are not unique and “the fees are not onerous.”