Bigger buffer sought around proposed Vulcan quarry

Foes of Vulcan’s proposed quarry in western Lexington County, South Carolina, are pressing for a much larger natural buffer around it.

Legislative allies want to limit blasting to loosen stone to be no closer than a half-mile from homes and other buildings.

That requirement would be a significant increase in the 300-foot buffer that County Council set.

The bigger buffer would reduce disruption of the rural lifestyle of residents near the operation, State Sen. Katrina Shealy said.

A larger buffer also would lessen considerably the amount of stone that could be mined.

The push for the bigger buffer is the latest skirmish in efforts by homeowners to stop the quarry from opening.

Vulcan Materials is preparing to open a quarry on a 520-acre site along Stutman Road midway between Batesburg-Leesville and Gilbert as soon as 2017.

It would produce crushed stone used mainly in concrete and asphalt for residential and commercial development, company officials say.

Vulcan officials promise to be good neighbors, saying modern mining techniques minimize problems.

“The mindset is they still don’t want it at all,” said Batesburg-Leesville Mayor Rita Crapps, who is sympathetic to the opposition. “But if it’s going to happen, a bigger buffer would be better.”

Homeowners in the area are pressing to put the bigger buffer in place before the quarry opens.
Mining interests are likely to oppose the plan since it would apply to all quarries across South Carolina.


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