Vulcan Materials’ plans to open the quarry on a 553-acre site in Lexington County, South Carolina, have met with opposition from nearby residents.
The new quarry would replace Vulcan’s 125-year-old mine in the Olympia neighborhood near downtown Columbia. Plans call for the new quarry to operate for 75 years, eventually going 350 feet deep over 131 acres.
Residents are concerned about the wells that supply water for drinking and other uses could be contaminated by dust and debris. Dozens of residents who live within five miles of the proposed quarry rely on wells, reports the State.
If they can’t stop the mine from opening, residents are pushing for additional safeguards, the newspaper says.
A Vulcan official said the company’s operation plans are shaped with the goal of “being a good neighbor.”
The company promises to supply water to surrounding homes if an unexpected problem develops, even if the cause is unknown.
Opponents of the mine have already successfully pushed for some changes in Vulcan’s plans. County officials are requiring wider landscape buffers and different truck routes to reduce potential problems for nearby residents. Vulcan did not oppose those changes.
The new requirements will cause mining to be concentrated in the center of the site, a step company officials say further reduces problems for those living nearby.
“By listening to our neighbors and working through the permitting process with Lexington County, we have been able to take a good quarry site and make it better,” a Vulcan spokesman said.