County Planning Commission Approves GP Aggregate Expansion

 

BNSF Tracks and GP Pit

The Prowers County Planning Commission voted to approve an amended Special Use Permit application for the West Farm Gravel Pit, to adjust the boundaries of their Department of Reclamation, Mining and Safety Permit during a public hearing held Wednesday, March 31st at the Home Ec Building at the Prowers County Fairgrounds.  This will allow for the addition of acreage for their gravel pit operation on property located in an A-1 Irrigated Agricultural and F-1 Floodplain Districts.  The project site is located along the east end of East Maple Street or CR HH.5 as it extends to the east and parallel with the railroad tracks due north of Highway 50.  Most of the project extends to just a small parcel of land beyond CR 12.

As was presented to the Commission by project manager, J.C. York of J & T Consulting in Fort Lupton,  the duration of the entire mining and reclamation project is estimated at roughly 30 years and is being conducted in nine phases.  He explained the project time line will probably fluctuate based on market demand and some additional time could be required.  “We expect to mine 2 million tons of aggregate per year with as much as 2.5 million under a maximum production rate,” he stated.  The first phase has been completed and is a storage reservoir. The second phase is about 60% to 70% completed at this point.  Phase nine is where they’re stockpiling as the material is transported to the railroad parcel of land where the sand is being shipped out on railroad cars.

York said there will be some eastward expansion for phases four through seven and some westward expansion on the site for phases three and eight.  Once a phase has been completed it becomes used as a storage reservoir.

Some concerns were expressed by area residents who live in the vicinity of the mining site including potential groundwater impact, levels of dust generated by the operation, chances of mosquito breeding on the water ponds and in general, the amount of truck traffic generated by the operation.

York addressed those concerns, explaining that before mining begins, a slurry wall liner is laid so groundwater is not impacted outside the slurry wall and any trapped water is removed as the operation is mined down.  He said generally, the mining is done from east to the west to reduce as much noise as possible.  Some noise is generated by the activity at the top of the site, but once we get below the surface the noise level is reduced.  Monitoring will be conducted to minimize any mosquito growth on the ponds and the site is also watered to reduce the amount of dust in the air from the operation.  It was pointed out that some of the truck traffic runs on public roads and as such, there are constraints as to how much regulation of the routes can be done.

Following the hour-long session, the commissioners voted to approve the amendment request with some conditions to be met for migrant dust and mosquito mitigation as had been requested during the hearing.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: AgricultureCity of LamarConsumer IssuesCountyEconomyFeaturedPublic SafetyTransportationUtilitiesWater

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