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Proposed quarry concerns STAMP officials

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 April 2014 at 12:00 am

Vibrations could be an issue for ‘quiet’ site

ALABAMA – One of the attractions to building a 1,250-acre mega-site manufacturing site by a swamp: It’s quiet.

A “quiet” site is essential in the nanotechnology, the construction of extremely small electronic circuits and mechanical devices.

The Alabama swamp and the rural surroundings make for a very quiet site, without vibrations in the ground that can compromise the manufacturing at such a small scale.

A proposal for a 215-acre quarry on Fletcher Chapel Road, not too far from the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge and the proposed STAMP site, has officials concerned in Genesee County.

The Genesee County Economic Development Center will weigh in on the quarry proposal, asking the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the quarry developer for studies to make sure the project wouldn’t have a negative impact on STAMP.

“There are some concerns about vibrations,” said Steve Hyde, president of the GCEDC. “Let’s do a study. It may not be an issue.”

The proposed STAMP (Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park) is projected to attract $20 billion in investment, employ 10,000 on site and have a spinoff impact of another 50,000 jobs in the region. Companies could manufacture semiconductor 450mm chip fab, flat panel display, solar, and other advanced manufacturing, Hyde said.

Just north of the site in the town of Shelby, Frontier Stone LLC wants to develop and operate a dolomite/limestone quarry. If the company can satisfy the DEC’s standards with a final environmental impact statement, Frontier will then need a permit from the town of Shelby for the project.

There will be a hearing at 6 p.m. at the Shelby Town Hall on April 30 for the draft environmental impact statement.

David J. Mahar, president of Frontier, has been working on the quarry project the past eight years. He has projected 15 jobs at the site. The quarry would be operated over 75 years on land that has been owned by Chester Zelazny.

Hyde said the quarry may not have an impact on STAMP, but he would like to see tests done to assure there wouldn’t be too much ground vibrations to make the site in Alabama unattractive to developers in nanotechnology.