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Permitting - February 2015

Oregon Quarry Fights for Permit

According to the Oregonian/OregonLive, a new quarry will soon be developed near Sherwood, Ore., on a 35-acre site immediately adjacent to the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. Tonquin Holdings, the company behind the proposed Tonquin Quarry, said applications for the federal permits needed to drain wetlands and commence with quarrying will be filed soon.

But the environmental group Tualatin Riverkeepers maintains that the proposed quarry's proximity to the federally designated wildlife refuge amounts to far more than a mere administrative inconvenience for the developers, as the company wants to drain wetlands on a resource that took an act of Congress to create. Congress established the wildlife refuge in 1992. The majority of its 1,500 acres run along Rock Creek and the Tualatin River. More than 140,000 visitors trek to the site annually.

Michelle Helms, public affairs specialist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Portland District, said the refuge's federal designation doesn't put the bar any higher than it would be otherwise in the permitting process. Opponents said they plan to use the public comment period following the filing of drainage permit applications to challenge the proposal.

Vulcan Eyes South Carolina Quarry

Plans to bring a mining operation to rural Lexington County, S.C., continue despite opposition from residents, according to Vulcan Materials Vice President and General Manager Roger Dunlap presented an overview of the proposed quarry to Lexington County Council members and the public. Included in the latest plans is a potential road closure.

Dunlap said officials with Vulcan Materials think the Batesburg-Leesville area is an ideal place for a mine and would help prepare for anticipated growth in the county. The company’s operation would generate construction materials for new schools, roads and homes and also eventually would replace the existing mine in the Olympia neighborhood in Columbia, according to Dunlap.

The total quarry site takes up about 520 acres off of U.S. Highway 1 and Windmill Road in Batesburg-Leesville.

California Quarry at Center of Dispute

Santa Margarita, Calif., neighbors are taking sides in a heated battle over potential transformations to the community if the permit for the proposed Los Pilitas aggregate quarry is approved, according to An application has been submitted for a conditional use permit for the property.

The Santa Margarita Advisory Area Committee voted 11-6 in favor of the quarry while county planning staff recommended denial of the conditional use permit saying the economic benefits do not override the environmental impacts.

Opponents argue that the trucks would create noise, endanger children at a nearby school, cause a constant stream of traffic and not provide 3-ft. clearance to bicyclists which could result in traffic jams.

Permit applicants Mike Cole and Steve Souza are seeking to produce a maximum of 500,000 tpy, a portion of which would be recycled asphalt.

Canadian Quarry Permitted

Fairmont Resources Inc. received a Certificate of Authorization for its Buttercup Project in Quebec. Canada. The application for the Certificate of Authorization began in March of 2014. The permitting process was concluded in fewer than 10 months, according to the company.

The Certificate of Authorization allows 300,000 tpy of aggregate production from the property. “Fairmont’s goal is to put one project into production per year, and its current plans focus on permitting a high purity silica project in 2015,” said Michael Dehn, Fairmont's president and CEO.

Interested cement and aggregate companies looking for a clean high-density aggregate that can be shipped through the Great Lakes or the Atlantic Ocean are encouraged to contact the company. The deep water port at the Grand Anse Sea Terminal is open year round, the company said, and is an ideal location to ship aggregates from the Buttercup Project.