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Quarry in Spring Lake okayed by county panel

A conditional use permit to County Concrete for a new quarry in the Town of Spring Lake was approved by the Pierce County Land Management Committee Wednesday.

Pierce Zoning Compliance Officer Brad Roy said the quarry site being on the top of a hill, from where digging downward will occur, was a factor in the committee's decision to approve the permit. Committee members heard concerns from citizens about plans for the quarry, Roy said.

Regarding noise, he said the size of a berm to be built for equipment to initially operate behind was increased. This was done by the company in recognition of the status of operations the first year; later, the equipment will be below grade.

The quarry will be a daytime operation without lighting, Roy said, except in the event of an equipment breakdown extending into darkness, when lights would be brought in.

Although the quarry site totals 129 acres over around a half-dozen parcels of property, he said only 30 acres will be allowed to be open at any given time. A processing area and storm water pond will be limited to 12 acres.

Before the company can begin operating the quarry, it must submit financial assurance for the county corporation counsel's approval, the compliance officer said. An access permit must also be obtained from the state's Department of Transportation.

Non-metallic mining is to be done at the site, along Hwy. 128 southeast of Spring Valley, Jim Small, County Concrete Geologist, said earlier this year. The firm makes concrete products from aggregate, requiring the best quality rock available, Small said. Finding suitable locations to do such mining is difficult, he added.

Access to the highway is an advantage of the Spring Lake quarry location for the company, the geologist said, as is close proximity to its manufacturing facility in Roberts. Significantly fewer people live in the vicinity of the site than elsewhere in the area, he also said.