Letter to the Editor: Lee County citizens need to step up voice, opposition to proposed granite quarry

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Dear Editor:

We, as Lee County citizens, have so much to be proud of. We have outstanding state, county, city and civic leadership. We see booming economic development. We are blessed with outstanding universities, colleges, and public schools. We enjoy numerous retail and recreational opportunities.
We are experiencing tremendous residential growth and are fortunate to have excellent state-of-the-art medical facilities. Auburn, Opelika, and Lee County together have become one of the fastest growing areas in our state because of the high quality of life in the entire Lee County area.
We should be very proud to call this area our home. We must continue to work together to keep our communities safe, secure, healthy, and expanding.
However, you may have read recently about a proposed Opelika granite quarry plan that has been applied to the state by Creekwood Resources LLC in Florence. This company has applied to state officials for air and discharge permits for a granite quarry to be located on County Road 168 just off US 431 north of Opelika, near Saugahatchee Lake and close to local schools.
Mayor Gary Fuller along with city, county and state officials, and along with Opelika City school representatives and Opelika utilities personnel, are voicing strong oppositions to the proposed quarry. Hundreds of Opelika, Lee County and Auburn residents have written letters to the State of Alabama ADEM expressing their strong opposition to this granite quarry proposal.
While many have voiced their opposition, we need many, many more letters to be written by citizens of this area to strongly voice their opposition to this detrimental quarry proposal. The proposed quarry could be very harmful to Saugahatchee Lake, the main source of Opelika’s drinking water. The traffic and noise from on-site blasting could become an issue, along with adversely affecting the air quality. Potential carcinogens that would be released in the air around nearby schools, colleges, and neighborhoods could be extremely dangerous. There are many nearby businesses and real estate holdings that could be adversely affected such as Auburn Opelika Grand National and National Village. Non-profits such as Story Book Farms may possibly have to close if the quarry is located in close proximity.
Numerous homes close by could be impacted by contamination of local wells and aquifers.
This is not just a problem just for Lee County residents or Opelika residents.
This is a potential problem for the entire East Alabama area. The Opelika City Council has adopted a resolution opposing the quarry, and the Auburn City Council will be taking up a similar proposal at its Feb. 18 council meeting.
Individual citizens, also, must voice their strong concerns about this proposal.
Won’t you please take a few minutes and write a letter expressing your concerns to state officials?
Mayor Fuller’s office has created a fact sheet detailing the situations that can be read at httpsi://bit.ly/2uOXnqo. The fact sheet points out that discharge from the quarry will run into Saugahatchee Lake impacting local wells and aquifers and could possibly reach many areas even outside of Opelika as well as causing significant air quality damage.
If you choose to write a letter, please do so no later than February 20, 2020.
Time is of the essence. Address your letter to:
Hand delivered to,
Russell A. Kelley, Chief
Permits & Services Division Alabama Department of Environmental
Management
P.O. Box 301463
Montgomery, Alabama, AL 36130-1463
Subject information: Proposed Quarry NPDES Permit Number: A10084018
Air Permit Facility Number: 206-0050
Your response is vitally important. Thank you for your consideration to write a letter. Let’s work together to keep all of Lee County healthy, growing, and clean for all of our residents now and into the future.
Thank you,

Dora James, Opelika
Shirley Lazenby, Opelika
Anne Whittelsey, Opelika
Kathryn James and Jeff Reese, Opelika

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