Creekwood Resources sends letters to county commission regarding Shady Grove Quarry

0
405

Creekwood Resources sent the following letters to the Lee County Commission on Jan. 22 and Feb. 1, respectively.

Jan. 22:
Dear Judge English:
In light of various recent representations, made in a public setting to the Lee County
Commission regarding the proposed quarry at Shady Grove, Creekwood Resources, LLC would
like to correct some of the inaccurate and misleading information that has been put forth and
perhaps ease some of the concerns of the community near the site. For ease in discussion, this
letter has been separated by specific subject.


LOCATION
Due to the complexity of the geology in this region of Alabama, there are very few locations
within Lee or the surrounding counties that have suitable granite for mining/construction
aggregate. The possibilities in the area are indeed very limited. After a great deal of search and
geologic evaluation, Creekwood determined that The Shady Grove site is an optimal location for
a granite quarry.


GOVERNMENTAL REGULATION
Quarries and other mining activities are highly regulated. These activities are controlled and
monitored by various governmental agencies, both state and federal, such as the Alabama
Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), The Department of Labor, The Corp of
Engineers, The State Fire Marshall, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), etc.
As part of their review process, ADEM sometimes holds public hearings to the review concerns
of communities regarding the opening of such facilities. In order to address these concerns in
an open forum, Creekwood Resources submitted, on January 14, 2021, a written request to
ADEM encouraging them to hold such a hearing regarding the proposed Shady Grove quarry.
This request was formally accepted by ADEM on January 19, 2021.


SURFACE WATER
Halawakee Creek and Lake Harding (located downstream approximately 10.4 river miles) will be
unaffected by the presence of the quarry. The distance from the creek, at the nearest point to
the quarry (at its proposed maximum size), is 1,000 feet. An undisturbed buffer will be
maintained along the creek and all other streams. The site has been designed and engineered
so that all stormwater on the site will be diverted and directed to one of six over-sized
engineered ponds for storage prior to being recycled and used on-site. Unlike a limestone or
marble deposits, granite deposits do not produce substantial water, therefore it is necessary for
operators of granite sites to collect all rainwater possible for use on site for product processing
as well as dust control. Collecting all rainwater on site in a pond is also a ADEM permit
requirement. Should there be excess stormwater during rain events, it will travel through one
of these permitted ponds prior being sampled, tested, and eventually leaving the property.
ADEM requires that these tests be submitted as they occur to ensure compliance with their
standards. This water must meet very stringent permit requirements before it leaves the
property.
The water used on site for dust control and to wash aggregate products will drain into a pond
or series of ponds prior to be recycled and reused. No chemicals, additives, or other products
are used in production processes, only water. The recycling and re-use of on-site water
protects the local and surrounding water resources. Silt fences will be installed, and the ponds
constructed to assure that during construction and site development this operation will in no
way have a negative impact on the creek or other surface waters.
If it is of value to the surrounding community, a standpipe, with easy access for connection to a
fire truck/tanker truck, can be provided at the larger basins for use by the Beulah Fire
Department. As some fires require enormous amounts of water, this alternative water source
could provide unimpeded access to a large water supply during emergencies and relieve some
of the pressure on the Beulah water system.

DUST CONTROL
The simplest solution to controlling dust is the distribution of water. Water trucks are used on
internal roadways regularly to control dust generated by vehicle traffic. Inside the plant, water
sprays will be used at precise locations. The nozzle size, style and quantity at each location will
be determined on-site once the plant is erected. Different sizes of product require varied
application rates of water to control dust. We will operate in compliance with the
requirements of the ADEM air permit, and as such, no dust emissions will leave the permitted
quarry site.


TRAFFIC
The Shady Grove Quarry will have a primary entrance on US Highway 29. The quarry expects to
have approximately 6-8 loads of rock per hour, on average, leaving the quarry. Of these, we
expect 80% to turn right and go towards Interstate 85. We will also have an emergency
entrance on Lee County Road 177. It will be gated and locked under normal conditions, and
only used during an emergency if needed by EMS.


OPERATING SCHEDULE
The proposed Shady Grove Quarry will be scheduled to operate during normal business hours, 5
to 6 days per week as needed. Currently there are no plans to operate at night.

BLASTING
Blasting will occur on, average, twice per month during normal business hours. Most blasts last
less than a second. Blasting is one of the most controlled and scientific of the activities
undertaken in mining. It is also one of the most misunderstood. One common misconception
is that dynamite is used. This is not the case. No blasting materials will be stored on the site.
All blasting components will be delivered to the site on the day of any blast and all unused
materials will be removed that same day.
Significant research, conducted primarily by the U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM), has been done
over many years regarding the impact and control of blasts to the point that the impact of
blasting vibration is very clearly understood. The key to understanding blasting is to
understand vibration and how it can be minimized. Research has shown that responsibly
controlled blasting from quarrying creates vibrations generally less than 0.5” PPV (Peak Particle
Velocity). Most structures, including modern homes, schools, offices, etc are not impacted at
vibration below 2.0 PPV. In fact, most states set PPV limits of between 1.4” and 2.0” PPV
(Alabama has a limit of 1.4” PPV). For this reason, Creekwood Resources is confident that the
blasting anticipated at Shady Grove will not negatively impact homes or structures in the
immediate area.
A blasting seismograph is one tool which will be used to document compliance with established
standards. Blasters are licensed professionals who are required by regulation or by their
employers to obtain continuing education and training. They are trained to plan, design,
implement and monitor blasts. This training stresses safety in all aspects.
Creekwood is prepared to offer, prior to the commencement of blasting on site, pre-blast
inspections/pre-blast surveys to interested nearby property owners. This will allow for
documentation of the existing condition of homes or other structures. These surveys will be
performed by a qualified third-party engineering firm at no cost to the home or business
owner.


NOISE
The primary source of noise from quarrying of stone is from earthmoving and processing
equipment. The impacts of noise are highly dependent on the sound source, the distance from
the source, the topography, land use, ground cover of the surrounding site, and climatic
conditions. Topographic barriers or vegetated areas will be used to shield or absorb noise. The
impacts of noise will be mitigated through various engineering techniques. Landscaping, and
vegetated berms will be constructed to form sound barriers.

ADDITIONAL INDUSTRY AND JOBS
It is not uncommon to co-locate an asphalt plant and/or ready-mix concrete plant near a
quarry. Should facilities such as these be located at the proposed Shady Grove Quarry, they will
most likely be owned by companies other than CreekWood, however, their activities will be
monitored by CreekWood to assure their compliance with environmental standards as well as
ensuring that their activities are in keeping with acceptable community standards.


Thank you for allowing CreekWood Resources to present information to you concerning our
proposed Shady Grove Quarry. Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at
creekwood@mail.com or at 256-577-7341.


Respectfully,
CreekWood Resources, LLC
Jeffrey D. Major
Managing Member





Feb 1:
Dear Judge English:


One of the concerns expressed regarding our proposed operation at Shady Grove has centered around an
expected increase in vehicle traffic. In light of this concern, we contacted Skippers Consulting, of
Birmingham, Alabama, to conduct a traffic study to secure the facts regarding the existing and expected
traffic in the immediate area of the site. As you know, Skippers Consulting has performed traffic studies
for the City of Auburn, City of Opelika, Auburn University and the Alabama Department of
Transportation. This specific study was conducted between January 19 and 21, 2021. Some conclusions
that can be drawn from this study are:

• Current average vehicle traffic count on Highway 29 is 6,085
• Projected average vehicle traffic count on Highway 29, after Shady Grove opens, is 6,250.
• In conclusion, total traffic on Highway 29 would increase by an average of 2.7% as a result of
opening Shady Grove.


A copy of the full report is attached hereto for reference. We hope that this information is of value to the
Commission as they continue to receive and review comments from the citizens of Lee county. Please let
us know of other issues the county would like for us to address. We will do our best to present additional
facts. We can be reached at creekwood@mail.com or at 256-577-7341.


Respectfully,
CreekWood Resources, LLC
Jeffrey D. Major
Managing Member

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here