June 4, 2015
Vulcan Materials Company just secured 148 acres of land to excavate from Fairfax County in Virginia through multi-year, two-step land swap.
In the deal approved 9-1 by the Fairfax Count board of supervisors June 2, Fairfax gives up the land owned by the county’s water authority in exchange for a portion of Vulcan’s rock quarry in 2035, according to the Washington Post. After decades of minging the property, Vulcan is set to return the land in 2080 after all of the rocks and other materials have been excavated.
For Fairfax County, the deal was an opportunity to protect the county’s drinking water supply for generations to come. The mining of the land will open up space for 16 billion extra gallons of drinking water that’s taken from the Occoquan River and treated. And the Washington Post reported that the Washington, D.C., area where Fairfax will certainly need the extra water: Residents in the area use 500 million gallons each day, and that’s going to rise by about 110 million over the next 25 years.
“This (deal) gives us the opportunity to be able to expand our water supply well into the future, not just decades but 100 years from now,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Sharon Bulova said.
The only nay vote on the deal came from Gerald Hyland who said his constituents don’t want to see even more mining in their neighborhood and are sick of the blasting. But the Fairfax Board of Zoning Appeals tried to address some concerns the day after the exchange vote by limiting blasting to between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.