ADEM grants public hearing on permits for proposed Lee County Quarry


OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – According to the city of Opelika, ADEM is going to grant a public hearing in the Quarry Permit request by Creekside. A date has not been set yet. The City of Opelika will announce the date as soon as the hearing is set.

Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller says the quarry would destroy the progress Opelika has made – while only creating 20 new jobs.

The following information is posted to the City of Opelika’s website:

This will have inherent social and environmental impacts for the citizens of Opelika. This quarry is not in the city limits but is surrounded by city limits on three sides. It is one mile from Grand National Golf Course, two miles from the Marriott Hotel, and hundreds of homes. It is one mile from Storybook Farms. Trucks from the quarry will pass three of our local schools (Morris Avenue, Jeter and Opelika High School), as well as Southern Union State Community College. This quarry will affect traffic, noise, air quality, etc., but there are two major issues that
ADEM will pay attention to two major concerns:

• Dust and air quality (pollution) – aggregate operations create dust. From extraction, from moving the aggregate, from screening and crushing, and from trucks entering and exiting the processing area. Fine particulate matter is a respiratory hazard. Airborne silica, a byproduct of aggregate processing, is a known carcinogen. Suppression equipment and processes can reduce the release of dust and fine particulate matter into the air, but they can’t eliminate it. Diesel fumes from trucks and equipment can have a negative impact on air quality.

• Damage to our primary source of drinking water (Saugahatchee Lake) – Discharge will run into tributaries that run into Saugahatchee. Pits and quarries that extract near or into the water table, aquifers, or aquitards (layers of soil that protect the underlying aquifers) can impact local wells and our lakes, negatively affecting both quality and quantity of water available.

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