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Ohio Permit Request Focus of Public Hearing

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency held a public meeting to hear from concerned homeowners about Enon Sand and Gravel’s mining permit request in Mad River Twp., Ohio, according to the Dayton Daily News. Enon Sand and Gravel applied to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Mineral Resources Management in November 2016 to mine limestone and to merge two existing permits into one. 

Township Trustee Vice President Kathy Estep spoke on behalf of the local trustees and said the township does not approve of the additional mining. State Rep. Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield) also spoke against the permit.  He said that people have invested millions of dollars into their homes and their property and if the permit is approved, the residents of the future will have to deal with major problems. 

“I have not had one constituant come and tell me they want this quarry,” Koehler said.

Other concerns raised included the effects on wells on private property, flooding, wildlife, sound and dust. 

Illinois Quarry Seeks Expansion

The Lakemoor, Ill., planning and zoning commission is considering a proposal by Thelen Sand & Gravel Inc., to expand its mining operation on the village’s far west side, according to the Daily Herald. Thelen’s proposal involving several properties on the north side of Route 120 has raised concerns among neighbors, who have been meeting to discuss strategy and collecting signatures in opposition.

Thelen mines 182 acres and is acquiring several other parcels. It is seeking approvals to allow mining on another 164 acres. Five areas would be annexed to Lakemoor as part of the plan, according to Matt Dabrowski, community and economic development director.

Neighbors said they are uncertain how the operation will impact their home values and are concerned about how the property will look as mining progresses. The local community has also said noise, dust, foundation cracks, increase in truck traffic and damage to wells and septic systems are other potential issues.

Wisconsin Permit Denied

The Waterford, Wis., Town Board denied a mining permit giving 15 reasons, including “the long troubled history of the site,” that the permit should be denied.

The first permit for the site approved in 1998 was for a horse barn, with mining at the top of a hill to make the land level. The horse barn was never built, according to the Journal Times. The owners, Greg and Dale Himebauch of Himebauch Farms LLP, continued mining and extended their extraction permits through 2001.

In 2001, Racine County, Wis., approved a more ambitious mining plan submitted by the Himebauchs, but the town denied them the permit. In the town form of government, zoning matters must receive approval from both the town and county.

The Himebauchs and Robert Johnson of Johnson Sand and Gravel of New Berlin filed a lawsuit asking for $50,000 in damages and a reversal. The Racine County Circuit Court ruled in the town’s favor.

Texas Quarry Gets Air-Quality Permit

Residents in Florence, Texas, are considering the possibility of forming or joining a groundwater conservation district, after the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality approved an air-quality permit for a controversial Asphalt Inc. LLC, aggregate quarry and asphalt plant site, according to the Killeen Daily Herald.

The permit means construction of a permanent rock crusher at the site, just east of the city, can begin. Many residents in the Williamson County, Texas, town of less than 1,500 use well water and have expressed concerns about the amount of water the plant could use. One well is capable of pumping 100 gal./min. and the permit allows for four wells if needed. Troy Carter, operations manager for Lone Star Aggregates, Asphalt Inc. parent company, said that amount of water likely will not be needed.

Asphalt Inc. crews started construction at the 880-acre site last fall. So far, the company has invested around $20 million on the project. Company leadership previously said they expect a total of 500,000 tons of aggregate to be quarried each year.