QUESTIONS ABOUT NEW QUARRY OPERATIONS
Will the quarry be open to the public?
We have very little retail business in our quarries. This will be primarily a commercial source.
How long will the quarry operate?
The expected productive life of the quarry is approximately 50 years.
What days and hours will the quarry operate?
Transit Mix plans to operate the quarry Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. This will NOT be a 24/7 operation.
How much rock will the quarry produce?
The quarry is projected to produce approximately 1.5 million tons annually (once at full production) of the rock aggregate vital to materials used for paving streets and highways, concrete, commercial and residential building foundations, drainage projects and other construction needs.
What are the environmental impacts of the new quarry?
Transit Mix Concrete plans to develop and operate the quarry to the highest standards for modern quarry operations. The state and county permit applications require that we submit exhaustive geological and geotechnical studies, as well as studies of wildlife, groundwater, storm water runoff, view sheds, traffic, noise, dust and air emissions. The mine plan we have developed was designed to assure minimal impact to the environment.
Site studies have found no threatened or endangered animal or plant species, and no meaningful cultural sites in the quarry permit area. In addition to required reports, Transit Mix has completed further wildlife habitat studies to assure that there will be minimal impact to endangered flora and fauna. In the unlikely event that a threatened species, such as the Mexican Spotted Owl, is found within the permit boundary after operations have begun, Transit Mix will be required to implement a mitigation plan to protect it.
Storm water runoff will be contained and managed to minimize possible impact to watersheds. Dust will be mitigated using standard industry practices that comply with all federal, state and local regulations.
Is it true that quarries permanently destroy animal habitats and rich lands?
Modern quarries operate much differently than they did in the 20th century, with rigorous standards designed to minimize impact to animal habitat. While some habitat will be altered during the life of the quarry, the mined land will be reclaimed concurrently in order to return acreage to healthy habitat as quickly as possible.
Further, Transit Mix’s experience demonstrates that wildlife successfully cohabit in our current quarries, such as Pikeview. (photos) In 2003, Transit Mix was awarded by DRMS for its successful reclamation of the former Queen’s Canyon quarry site, which was developed into an improved grassland habitat for valued species such as big horned sheep. That reclamation plan was done in cooperation with various state and county authorities, and the sheep continue to thrive there.
Is it true that 65 homeowners will have to drive through the quarry to reach their property?
There are a handful of full-time time residents in the Eagle’s Nest and Bauer’s Ranch areas north and west of the quarry site, and they do use Little Turkey Creek Road, which bisects the proposed quarry area, to reach their homes. It is important to note that there will be no more than about 163 acres of the permit area disturbed at any given time.
Some area residents believe that the new quarry will damage their water wells. What is Transit Mix doing to assure that water supplies are protected?
Transit Mix has conducted extensive groundwater studies in the area surrounding the quarry. These studies conclude that there is virtually no possibility of impact beyond an approximately one-half mile radius of the mine. There are approximately 12 wells within that ½ mile radius. TMC will do pre-blast surveys and monitor water for quality and quantity, and, importantly, will provide immediate relief to residents within the defined radius if their wells are impacted. That relief includes providing a temporary water supply, no questions asked, and drilling a new well (at our expense) for a resident if it is determined that mine development caused the damage.
Will Eagle’s Nest and Bauer Ranch residents be unable to enter or leave their property for extended periods of time during blasting?
To protect both quarry employees and those who use Little Turkey Creek Road, the road will be closed at the quarry entrance for a few minutes during a blast. We will post scheduled blast dates and times in advance for the convenience of residents. In case of emergency, we can allow access up until the moment the actual blast is triggered. Once a blast occurs, it takes about five minutes for crews to confirm that the road is safe for traffic.
The possibility of an extended closure due to a misfire is negligible. Although some speculate that there will be occasions when the road will be blocked for hours or days due to a blast misfire, Transit Mix has not experienced a misfire in more than ten years. Blast misfires are extremely rare.
Will emergency vehicles be blocked from accessing the Eagles Nest and Bauer Ranch areas before a blast?
Absolutely not. Transit Mix would never block access to emergency vehicles needing to reach someone. In fact, up until the very moment the blast is triggered, we can halt the process and provide immediate access to emergency vehicles. Once the blast is actually triggered, it will take only about five minutes for crews to confirm the area is safe for traffic. It is important to note that blasting will happen up to a maximum of just three times per week.
The likelihood that an emergency vehicle will need access during those few minutes is negligible. Transit Mix reviewed data from January 1, 2012 to present, which indicated no calls for emergency medical service in the neighborhoods above the quarry area since that date. To improve emergency vehicle access, Transit Mix will allow residents and emergency vehicles to use its own haul road, which actually will provide better access to these properties than Little Turkey Creek Road.
Will the new quarry adversely affect home values in the area?
Transit Mix does not believe so. The company has conducted an extensive study of property values– both in the Hitch Rack area and in neighborhoods surrounding other quarries. The study data, which will be submitted with our SUP application, demonstrate that adverse impact on property values near the quarry is unlikely.
Will people be able to hear quarry operations for miles around it?
One of the reasons we chose this site was that its natural topography within ridgelines will provide natural noise containment of the operation. Transit Mix will have to comply with strict noise standards set by the County. We have evaluated the potential noise impact to neighbors and wildlife and are confident that noise will be controlled within all regulatory limits. Equipment will operate with industry-standard noise suppression devices to comply with all applicable statutes and regulations.
How much truck traffic will the quarry generate?
Truck transport operations will have a minimal impact on local traffic volumes and trucks will be regularly monitored for safety, noise and hours of operation.
There are claims that the mining operation will produce severe dust that will adversely affect people even miles away from the quarry. Is this true?
Regulation requires that TMCC contain dust from the operation within the permit boundary. Dust will be mitigated using a combination of water sprays and surfacing agents on the road and a portion of the access road will be paved. We will use standard industry practices that comply with all federal, state and local regulations.
Will any hazardous materials be extracted or produced?
No. The rock being quarried is an inert material that requires no further processing beyond crushing and sizing for use in producing concrete and other construction materials.
Can you guarantee that there will not be any rock slides like you had at Pikeview?
The geology of the two sites are fundamentally different. Geologic studies of the site reveal it to be stable granite without the rock formation boundary issues at our Pikeview quarry. There were slides at Pikeview because water built up behind the limestone and sandstone along a fault and pushed out the softer rock. This is not the case at the new site.
How often will you be blasting?
In our permit application, we have stated a plan to blast no more than three (3) times each week. We plan to continue our current practice to blast during the mid-day hours. We will post signs to announce blasts in advance for the convenience of residents who use Little Turkey Creek Road.
What will you do about damage your trucks cause to Little Turkey Creek Road?
We are building a private access road so that quarry trucks will never travel along Little Turkey Creek Road, which is also a private road. There will be a company maintained controlled crossing of the road for trucks and equipment to access the quarry. Residents will have right of way at the crossing, and quarry traffic will be required to stop. Transit Mix also has offered to provide maintenance of Little Turkey Creek Road for the convenience of the residents who use it.
What is to stop you from taking water out of Little Turkey Creek before it gets to my home?
We are prevented by regulations and stipulations in the permits from taking any water from the creek. Our plan includes a protected greenbelt on both sides of the creek to insure that water flows and quality are safeguarded.
There was an earthquake up here in the 1970s. Are there any geologic faults where you intend to mine?
We have identified one small fault line near the east side of the quarry that has been incorporated in our mine plan. We will mine the quarry to insure safety, and in this case, provide a sight barrier from the east. No other faults were discovered in our initial drilling tests.
Will blasting have an effect further down into the ground?
No. Blasting is shallow and will not have any seismic impact deeper into the ground. Typically, the blast caps are placed only about 30 feet underground. Most of the energy is absorbed into the rock bench we are working and very little is absorbed into the rock below the bench.
Will drivers always cover their load?
CDOT rules and Transit Mix policy require all loads to be covered before leaving the quarry site. We enforce that policy, and require our drivers– both our employees and contract drivers– to cover their loads. Today’s trucks are equipped with automatic covers, with many fewer problems today than years past.
What about all the rocks that fall off the trucks and end up on the highway?
Trucks will be inspected at the scale, and Transit Mix policy requires drivers to clean off debris before they leave the quarry. We will take extra care to make sure that this requirement is followed. Cameras are useful in viewing both sides of the truck as it is weighed.
What will Transit Mix do if there is a dust problem?
We will be required by regulation to keep any dust within the permitted quarry area. If a neighbor experiences a problem, please contact Transit Mix and we will resolve it.
How far will the access road be paved?
The access road will be paved the 1-1/2 miles from the highway to the scale house to further control dust and noise.