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Permitting - September 2016

Martin Marietta Distribution Center Plan Under Fire • Rogers Group Quarry Case May Go to State Court • Lehigh Hanson Abandons Canadian Site • Lehigh Hanson Abandons Canadian Site

Martin Marietta Distribution Center Plan Under Fire

According to The Coloradoan, opponents of plans to build a large distribution center for asphalt and concrete near U.S. Highway 34 along the Larimer/Weld, Colo., county line won a bit of a victory. A District Court judge ordered the Weld County commissioners to take another shot at explaining their rationale for approving the project as proposed by Martin Marietta.

The judge found the commissioners did not document their “findings of fact” or conclusions as to how the project met criteria set in the county’s land use code. Therefore, the judge, who is hearing a lawsuit brought by neighbors of the controversial project, cannot review whether the evidence supports the county or the unhappy neighbors. The commissioners were given 63 days from Aug. 9 to put their findings on the record.

The commissioners approved the project a year ago despite recommendations from county staff and the planning commission to deny Martin Marietta’s application. The decision came after an all-day, sometimes emotional public hearing.

Rogers Group Quarry Case May Go to State Court

Attorneys representing Rogers Group Inc. and Tippecanoe County, Ind., have filed briefs with the Indiana Supreme Court, according to Robert Reiling of Reiling Teder & Schrier, which represents Tippecanoe County in the case. Rogers Group has proposed a quarry in Americus, Ind., that ran into a roadblock after a backlash from the local community. Residents founded the Americus Area Community Coalition and petitioned local officials to fight the quarry, according to the Journal and Courier.

As the Tennessee-based company worked to secure final approval for the site in 2014, the Tippecanoe County Board of Commissioners passed a last-minute ordinance that banned mining within two miles of 100 residential houses. This effectively blocked the Americus quarry. Rogers Group then filed suit against the Tippecanoe County authorities. Reiling said the Supreme Court will decide whether to take the case soon.

Bergkamp to Open Kansas Quarry

According to the Hillsboro Star-Journal, Bergkamp Construction intends to open a quarry in Hillsboro, Kan. The company already operates two quarries in Butler County, Kan. Scott Bergkamp and Gerald Gilkey of Bergkamp Construction told county commissioners that the company will assist with road maintenance because of the anticipated heavy truck traffic on roads leading to the quarry.

Bergkamp said trucks will be traveling west to US-77 to haul away rock from the quarry. He anticipates dust being the worst problem the traffic will create. He told commissioners the company swill ink a well on the property that will provide water to spray on the road to reduce dusting.

Commissioners said they were interested in seeing the quality of rock produced by the quarry with the idea that its location might save the county money on rock hauling. Most of the rock bought by the county comes from a quarry in Florence, Kan., and the new quarry will make the drive shorter for rock needed in the northern portion of the county.

Lehigh Hanson Abandons Canadian Site

Lehigh Hanson Materials announced it is abandoning its application to pursue exploratory surface drilling in the Lloyd Creek area just north of Desolation Sound Marine Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada. The company, which extracts about four million tons of aggregate annually from its Sechelt and Chilliwack mines alone, had planned to drill in early September to determine the viability of a 1.2-sq.-km gravel quarry in the Desolation Sound area.

According to Corporate Communications Director Jeff Sieg, Lehigh Hanson recognized early on that mining in the area would not be economically feasible and the company routinely looks at sites across Canada and the United States. B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations granted Lehigh Hanson’s application to do exploratory work last fall. “We’ve been looking at the property for some time, in terms of evaluating whether it would be feasible to mine it, and we’ve said from the very beginning that it’s just an exploratory process,” Sieg told the Powell River Peak. “Obviously, bringing in drilling equipment and contractors would be very expensive, so we just decided early on to not take it any further.”