By Hannah Lester
Creekwood Resources, LLC, has applied for an air permit from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management Agency for a potential quarry in Beulah.
The quarry would be located on the northeast side of Lee County on Lee Road 177 and Highway 29 at 5304 U.S. Highway 29 N, according to ADEM’s website.
Creekwood also tried to install a quarry in Opelika, but due to the large amount of backlash, the company withdrew its permit in February.
Now, citizens fighting the Beulah quarry hope to receive the same amount of support.
Tara Brumfield and Danielle Ritch, along with others have created a group called “Protect Beulah, Stop The Quarry.”
“[We are] encouraging folks in the community to continue writing letters to ADEM, contacting the Lee County Commissioners and be ready to go before, to speak at the hearing to have their voices heard,” Brumfield said.
They have asked for support from Auburn and Opelika City Councils, The Lee County Commission and Alabama representatives.
Ritch expressed concern to the Opelika Council in September about the air and water quality degradation that could come from the quarry. Additionally, the community is concerned about the traffic, she said.
The permit that was submitted Tuesday is not available to view on ADEM’s website yet. It is shown as filed, but not available to view. Check in to ADEM’s website here: www.adem.alabama.gov/County/County.cnt?county=Lee.
“The main route to the Beulah community, the Beulah schools is Highway 29, that’s how all the emergency service vehicles [travel],” Ritch said at that September meeting. “ … We’ve been told that there may be 60 plus dump trucks pulling out on Highway 29 so that’s a concern for our area.”
Brumfield and Ritch held a meeting on Sept. 10 to talk to the citizens of Beulah, give them an update and encourage them to keep fighting.
Two Lee County Commissioners, Robert Ham and Richard LaGrand, were in attendance. The commission has already formally opposed the quarry.
The best thing that citizens can do to the fight the quarry is to continue writing letters, Brumfield stressed during this meeting.
A written petition received 500 signatures while an online petition received over 2,000, Brumfield said.
However, commissioners, representatives, etc., do not know that the people care because they aren’t hearing from residents, she said.
“We’re not going to be able to stop this, guys, unless we get this community involved,” Brumfield said.
A pre-written letter was provided that residents can use, but Commissioners LaGrand and Ham encouraged residents to write their own.
Brumfield said that support has grown since the permit was officially filed.
“We have tremendous support from the community,” she said. “We’re just doing everything that we can to fight for the folks here. Right now, the way things look, no one else is.”