Group Sees Mining Area

March 06, 1991

NEW WINDSOR — Residents near a proposed quarry pit here told members of the county's Mineral Mining Committee their concerns and problems Monday.

The committee and county planners toured the area surrounding a pit proposed by Lehigh Portland Cement Co.

Carol Collins, who lives on Hallowell Lane, let the group stand in her backyard and look out to the farm field that Lehigh has plans to mine.

Collins said her family moved to the home 1 1/2 years ago to get away from congestion in Olney, Montgomery County. She said shewasn't told the fields in her view were owned by Lehigh.

"Why were houses built here?" she asked.

Neighbors are concerned about water supplies, noise and sinkholes, Collins said.

The mining committee, made up of 10 citizens, will write a comprehensive plan for handling the county's mineral resources. It will try to balance mining company interests with those of residents who live near quarries.

Monday, the committee also visited the office of the New Windsor Community Action Program, a citizens group that started four years ago in response to Lehigh's plans to expand in New Windsor. The company mines in Union Bridge.

Clark R. Shaffer of Westminster, a NEWCAP attorney, asked the committee to recommend a process that would include morepublic input when mining companies ask for zoning changes.

Richard H. Offutt, a Westminster lawyer who works as a consultant to NEWCAP, said the county needs more information from mining companies about how their operations will affect neighbors.

"A quarry impacts far beyond its own property line," said Offutt, who lives near a pit operated by Genstar Stone Products Co.

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