Suggestions offered on mining proposal Planners bring up trucks, water issues

October 22, 1992|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

The county Planning Commission made suggestions Tuesday for The Arundel Corp., which wants to mine limestone in Wakefield Valley, about ground water monitoring, well remediation and truck routes.

The commission met in a work session to discuss the company's plan, which is wending its way through the county approval process. Arundel officials did not attend the meeting.

The company has submitted a plan to dig a 40-acre quarry on the 127-acre Reichlin property at Nicodemus and Brick Church roads. When that site is depleted -- probably in about 10 years -- the company wants to dig an 80-acre pit on the nearby 277-acre Hughes property.

Genstar Stone Products Inc. quarries adjacent to the Arundel site and wants to expand its pits.

A public tour and community meeting to learn more about Genstar's expansion plans are scheduled for Nov. 18. County law requires the tour and meeting.

County hydrologist Tom Devilbiss suggested the county work with the state, Arundel and Genstar to develop a regional plan to monitor ground water in the area.

The county needs information about current ground water conditions in Wakefield Valley for future decision-making, and it makes sense for the companies and the governments to work together on a plan, he said.

The Planning Commission also will ask Arundel to consider planning a reservoir for the Westminster area for water pumped out of the quarry. This suggestion came from a resident at an August public meeting, planner Gregg Horner said.

If wells in the area go dry because of the quarrying, Arundel should have a remediation plan in writing, he said. The company has submitted a proposal, but more details are needed, he said.

"I'd like to have it right up front," Mr. Horner said.

George B. Brewer, president of Arundel's Maryland Aggregates Group in Sparks, said in August that the company would post a bond with the county to replace wells if they go dry within a "zone of influence" that is yet to be determined.

The commission also discussed ways to divert truck traffic from Nicodemus Road to avoid disturbing residents near the quarry site.

The road was not built to handle trucks, so it would have to be rebuilt if Arundel's trucks used the road, County Planning Director Edmund R. Cueman said.

Mr. Brewer said the quarry probably would generate 20 truck trips per hour during a 10-hour workday.

The planners suggested several ways to avoid traffic problems, including rerouting Nicodemus Road away from nearby homes.

Commission member Dennis P. Bowman said residents should have input into the road issue.

Commission member Zeno Fisher said residents have expressed concern about the quarry's hours of operations. He asked that the company clarify what kind of work will be done during key early morning and evening hours.

Residents also would like to know what kind of fence and berm will surround the quarry site, he said.

Mr. Horner said he would send a letter detailing the commission's suggestions to Arundel.

Mr. Brewer said the company does not expect to begin work at the Reichlin site for at least two years because it will take that long to get county and state permits.

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