Hunt-Rogers Materials Quarry challenenged by local officials

Hunt-Rogers Materials’ quarry in Farmington, Arkansas, denies that it is operating outside boundaries permitted by regulations as claimed by local officials.

The county notified the attorney for the owners of the quarry Thursday the company is mining outside its boundaries, according to email provided by County Attorney Brian Lester, reports the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

Tom Kenley, Rogers Group spokesman, said in an email Friday the company hasn’t breached boundaries. “We are operating our limestone quarry within our authorized perimeter, and we are in full compliance with our ADEQ permits,” Kenley wrote.

“We disagree with the county’s recent statements Re: noncompliance at the Farmington operation.”

Hunt-Rogers Materials, the company running the mine, is a joint venture of Rogers Group and NW Arkansas Quarries.

Under dispute between Rogers Group and the county is whether mining is permitted on all of the property, or if the company is limited to mining only the portion grandfathered-in when the county adopted zoning regulations, Lester said.

The quarry originally opened as a dirt mine in the 1990s, Gallagher said. County property records show the land was sold three times before Rogers Group bought it in 2011.

Rogers Group filed paperwork with the state environmental agency to “re-open” the quarry in 2008, according to documents provided by ADEQ. Exactly when the mine closed is unclear based on state documents and information from Gallagher, who said the mine originally was open intermittently.

Lester said the quarry was in operation before the county set large-scale development standards in 2004 and before the conditional-use permit standards appeared in 2006.

The mine has been a contentious issue for neighbors for years. Homeowners have tried to curtail the mine’s operation and helped prevent the expansion of the mine in 2009, records show.

Neighbors are upset because Rogers Group was allowed to continue blasting and mining stone from the quarry despite compatibility issues and over their objections, said Gallagher.

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