Legislature candidate sees many negatives with quarry project in Shelby by Refuge
Frontier Stone says there is a great need for more limestone in Orleans County. So they want to create two 250-acre holes in the ground next to the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (Swallow Hollow).
However, it has been shown we have ample existing stone quarries to satisfy future needs. Another quarry would literally undermine the existing ones, hurting their bottom lines and causing a loss in local jobs. Keep in mind, Frontier Stone typically does not hire locally.
The DEC is not the failsafe protector of our environment we hope them to be. DEC regulations, in many instances, actually allow for a deterioration in wildlife habitat – very true in this case.
The DEC permit to allow this quarry is based on the notion that Frontier Stone would attempt to “mitigate to the best of their abilities, any negative impacts”.
And what would those impacts be? Blasting out hunks of limestone will reverberate throughout the wildlife refuge. Nesting birds such as eagles, ospreys, hawks, etc., would be disrupted.
Migrating Canada geese would avoid the sanctuary and suffer. Clouds of limestone dust would drift over the entire area as the wind takes it, clogging vital ecosystems. Waste water being pumped out of the mining holes will pollute ground water and tributaries of the Oak Orchard River system. The level of groundwater, so vital to the maintenance of the refuge, will drop, destroying critical habitat for decades.
What will we gain? You and I will gain nothing. A landowner adjacent to the refuge who sells to Frontier Stone will reap thousands. Frontier Stone will reap billions over a 75-year period. Their lawyers and “experts” will be paid. The 250-acre holes will fill with water. But don’t buy their story that this will be a recreation area. Their other water-filled quarries are deemed too dangerous and are off limits to the public.
So, when folks talk about jobs, needed industry and progress, use your common sense and say NO to this quarry.
(Capurso is a candidate for an at-large position on the Orleans County Legislature.)