Hanson Whitney quarry to restart

Hanson’s plans to re-open and develop its Whitney Quarry, Latrobe, Pennsylvania, have met with local opposition.

Local esidents voiced concerns with planned blasting at the quarry which closed in 2915 following a ground fall inside the underground part of the operation.

Unity residents who live near the shuttered Whitney Quarry tried Thursday to pin down the expected frequency of the blasts at a meeting with officials of the Connellsville-based operator, Hanson Aggregates, Triblive.com reports.

Ronald Kurpiel, the company’s general manager for Western Pennsylvania, told more than 40 residents who attended the session at the township municipal building that surface blasting might occur “a couple times a week” as part of the company’s effort to reclaim the underground limestone quarry that partially collapsed in April 2015, injuring three workers outside the entrance.

He said the company doesn’t yet know to what extent blasting will be needed to stabilize the quarry’s highwall, backfill the pit and create a new, sloped surface contour. Kurpiel said the company plans to keep residents updated on the project. “We’ve got to do the right thing by you folks, and we’re going to try,” he said.

If Hanson’s plans pan out, full quarry operations will return to the area. Allan Percha, the company’s environmental and permit manager, said Hanson hopes to develop a new underground quarry entrance near its existing processing plant and dig underneath Quarry Road to develop a new Whitney North quarry in 50 acres it has optioned on the north side of the road. It could take several years for those plans to come to fruition.

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