|Avery citizens unite against quarry|
|Written by Lauren Ohnesorge|
|Wednesday, 23 May 2007 06:51|
It was a full courthouse at last night’s state Department of Environmental and Natural Resources hearing on the proposed rock quarry on Hanging Rock Road in the Green Valley Community of Avery County.
The state hearing was to address public concerns over R.C. Landholdings’ permit request. The state has specific criteria for denying such permits- including potable water concerns and environmental factors. Concerns not covered by the act include property values, increased truck traffic, operating hours and noise. That left plenty to talk about for the over forty people signed up to speak their opposition at the hearing.
Doris Kirby was among those worried about what run off could do to the environment.
Geologist Robert Hastings was among experts who thought those worries had merit. Experts and citizens alike questioned what the quarry would do to spring boxes and wells.
Endangered species also thrive in the area and are of concern to environmentalists. The elk toe mussel and the hell bender salamander could be threatened by such an operation. Locals fear decreased water quality could take away North Toe River’s classification as a trout water.
Others, like Marcell Wiseman Valencia, remember the impact of the last mine.She said the dust was constant and the river was milky white. She does not want to see that happen again to her beloved river.
Carpenter did not appear phased at the heavy opposition, nor did he have comments for the press.
DENR has thirty days to make a decision. DENR has yet to deny a mining permit. If you could not come to the hearing, but still want your voice heard, don't worry. Written comments postmarked in the next ten days will be accepted as part of the hearing.
Mail comments to:
Dr. Kenneth Taylor
1612 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1612
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