heraldindependent.com

Proposed rock quarry continues to stir community

By Lucas Vance lvance@civitasmedia.com

June 1, 2014

WINNSBORO — For the second county council meeting in a row, residents from District 7 expressed their opposition of a proposed mining company.


During the public comment portion of the meeting, Dorothy Brandenburg started things off by emphasizing the longevity of a rock quarry’s impact in the area.


“I would like to remind everyone that we are standing on the precipice for this county,” she stated. “This decision has effects that will span 50 years or more for the entire county, not just District 7 where this quarry is proposed.”


She explained that the group is in the process of drafting a preliminary letter to the Department of Health and Environmental Control and other governmental agencies regarding studies and actions the residents would like to see to ensure their needs are taken care of moving forward.


All of county council was addressed in the letter.


“We want to make sure everything is hashed out,” she noted.


Brandenburg presented council with a petition of 227 signed names opposing the quarry.


She noted the group’s largest concern is that the quarry could disrupt the county’s water table.


“Jobs aren’t everything in this situation,” Brandenburg stated. “There are 227 people who are going to affected by this decision.”


Lisa Brandenburg, also from District 7, stated that some residents in the Middle Six community, Rockton Thruway community and Cherry Road community have bonded together in order to oppose the quarry.


“We want you (council) to stand with us to protect the citizens, our health, our safety, our property values, our historical sites, wetlands, endangered species, noise and air quality that will prevent us from using our yards and making us stay in our homes. We deserve your support on this,” L. Brandenburg told council.


County staff did send a letter to DHEC to assure a public hearing would be held on the matter.


It was initially believed that the area was zoned as residential, which would prevent Winnsboro Crushed Stone from mining without any re-zoning from county council. However, the area is actually the area is actually zoned as RD-1 (Rural Residential District), which does allow conditional mining.


Those conditions stipulate the mining company have a reclamation and reuse plan for the property, and requires blasting zones restricted to no more than 1,500 feet from any neighbor, as well as requiring a location map and limiting mining traffic to major streets only.


The company named Winnsboro Crushed Stone has applied to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) for a permit to mine granite in South Carolina and specifically at a site in Fairfield County.


The proposed site is located at the southeast end of Rockton Thruway, which is approximately four miles southeast of Winnsboro and 2.2 miles away from the intersection of U.S. 321 and S.C. 34.


The tract of land covers approximately 900 acres.


According to DHEC’s website, Winnsboro Crushed Stone’s home office is located in Monroe, N.C.


According to the mining application documents, property owners include Coleman Land & Timber, LLC (Hartsville, S.C. – 485.5 acres); Amos Davis Coleman, et. al. (Winnsboro – 349 acres); Jenkins & McLeod, LLC (Winnsboro – 35 acres); Quay W. McMaster (Winnsboro – one 43-acre tract and one 7-acre tract); and S.C. Electric & Gas (Columbia – 3.7 acres).


If the project passes, Winnsboro Crushed Stone plans to restore the area to ponds, grasslands and woodlands after mining.


Comments or inquiries about the application should be sent to the attention of Joe Koon, SCDHEC, Division of Mining and Solid Waste Management, 2600 Bull Street, Columbia, South Carolina, 29201. You can also reach him by phone at 803-898-1371.


Comments must be received by SCDHEC before 5 p.m. June 2.


For more information, click the DHEC Mining Application link on the county’s website at www.fairfieldsc.com.