Report raises new questions on Teichert’s Cool quarry expansion

Report raises new questions on Teichert’s Cool quarry expansion(Cool, California) Plans by Teichert Aggregates and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to mine limestone and reclaim federal land bordering the Cool Cave Quarry Inc. are drawing questions and criticism with the release of a new report on the proposal.The Bureau of Reclamation’s Central California Area Office in Folsom has distributed a draft environmental assessment that there would be no significant impact from leasing 16 acres adjacent to the Cool Cave Quarry.The project, which would take place over 10 years, would also allow steep and unsafe areas that were previously mined to be stabilized, the bureau’s report states. Regrading cut slopes and revegetating disturbed areas would also improve the aesthetic quality of the site, the report contends.A workshop in Cool earlier this week elicited questions from nearby residents answered by bureau and Teichert representatives. But the proposal still is questionable, say Auburn canyon activist Steve Proe and Meadow Vista rock climber Gordy Ainsleigh.Proe, who attended the workshop, said information passed out was inadequate to understand the proposed project or lease agreement. He was seeking more information from the Folsom office Wednesday.Noting that rock climbing is illegal in the former Mountain Quarry site and stating he doesn’t climb the steep walls himself, Ainsleigh said he would like to see the walled area retained or even improved to attract climbers. At the workshop, residents from nearby Auburn Lake Trails asked about the impact of the project on noise and scenic values.They were also concerned about whether the project would result in increased activity at the quarry.Teichert Aggregates project manager Jeff Thatcher said the proposal calls for the business to shift its operations to the bureau property and not increase production capacity. The total amount of limestone to be mined from the property would be about 220,000 cubic yards. Extraction operations would take place under existing Cool Cave Quarry permits and plans, the report said.Limestone extraction would take two to four years, with the bureau collecting an as-yet-undisclosed royalty on production levels. Reclamation activities would occur over 10 years, taking place concurrently with the extraction work.On narrow Highway 49, no change in the level of traffic would take place with the limestone extraction and reclamation plan, the proposal states. On average, 100 trucks use the site in any eight-hour shift, the bureau report states.Thatcher said an estimated 400,000 tons of fill would be used to terrace the slopes of the bureau land. Teichert wouldn’t be making money on the project but the work would allow the operation to safely work the limestone deposits bordering now-unstable areas, he said. The existing wall is 250 feet high.The draft environmental document is available for review at the bureau’s Mid-Pacific Region Office of Public Affairs, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, or the bureau’s Folsom office at 7794 Folsom Dam Road. Hard copies may be requested by calling 916-978-5204. It can also be downloaded from the bureau’s web site.Written comments on the draft must be received by Tuesday.By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff

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