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DEC schedules hearing on proposed quarry in Shelby

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 February 2016 at 12:00 am

SHELBY – Nearly two years after the last public hearing for a proposed quarry in Shelby near a wildlife refuge, the issue will again come before the community.

Frontier Stone LLC is proposing a limestone quarry on 215 acres, which the company wants to excavate on 172 acres in four phases over 75 years. The new quarry would be on Fletcher Chapel Road, several hundred feet east of Sour Springs Road.

During a public hearing on April 30, 2014, residents expressed concern about the impact on the wildlife refuge, property values, roads and a peaceful rural life, among many issues.

Frontier Stone has been working for nearly two years to respond to those concerns raised at the hearing as well as written comments.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation will have a legislative/public comment hearing at 6:30 p.m. on March 8 at Medina High School, 2 Mustang Drive.

The community is invited to comment on the draft environmental impact statement, the mined land reclamation and water withdrawal permit, and the draft combined permit.

Frontier, which is based in Wilson, is proposing that quarrying would be conducted by standard drill and blast technology with front-end loaders and excavators feeding a primary crusher with shot rock, the DEC said in a notice.

Frontier is proposing to use an on-site processing plant and to mine below the water table. The project includes dewatering of the quarry area with a maximum water withdrawal for mine at 554,264 gallons per day, which would be discharged at the southwest corner of the site to an existing agricultural drainage ditch.

The reclamation objective will be to create open space with two lakes for recreation or wildlife habitat. The two lakes, separated by an existing utility line, would be approximately 35 and 156 acres, the DEC said in the notice.

DEC Administrative Law Judge D. Scott Bassinson will conduct the hearing on March 8.

“All persons, organizations, corporations or government agencies that may be affected by the proposed project are invited to attend the hearing and to submit oral or written comments on the Draft EIS, the mined land reclamation and water withdrawal permit applications and the draft combined permit,” the DEC said. “While it is not necessary to file in advance to speak at the hearing, lengthy comments should be submitted in writing and summarized for oral presentation. Equal weight will be given to both oral and written comments. Reasonable time limits may be set for each speaker as necessary to afford all attendees an opportunity to be heard.”

The DEC also has scheduled an issues conference for Bassinson, as administrative law judge, to determine if issues need additional work and explanation from Frontier. The conference will be begin 10 a.m. on April 26 at Ridgeway Town Hall, 410 West Ave., Medina and will continue throughout the day and on April 27 if necessary.

“The purpose of the issues conference is to determine party status for any person or organization that has properly filed a petition (as indicated below), and to narrow and define those issues, if any, that will require adjudication in this matter,” the DEC said. “Participation in the issues conference shall be limited to DEC staff, applicant, and those persons or organizations requesting party status.”

For more on the public hearing and issues conference, click here to see the notice from the DEC.