2016 Update

 

2016 has been a very busy year for Ban-the-Quarry.  Here is a summary of Gibraltar Rock’s activities this year.

Zoning Board Hearings

  • In 2015, Gibraltar Rock, Inc. filed a new application with the township Zoning Hearing Board requesting permission to conduct quarrying on the 82 acres in this application (GR4).  Some of the acreage was recently purchased from Ethan Good, owner of the Good Oil Company.  Other parcels were part of their 2nd application (GR2) to the Zoning Hearing Board.  All of the parcels in the current GR4 application are located north of Hoffmansville Road.
     

  • The Zoning Hearing Board began monthly hearings in 2015 for the GR4 application, and they have continued this year.  Gibraltar Rock’s expert witnesses have concluded their testimony, and on July 7, 2016, our expert testified.  The vital issue with this application is – if blasting begins at the quarry, will the blasting release the extensive list of chemicals that are currently trapped beneath the rock at the toxic waste site on Good Oil Company property and many other properties in that area?  Some of the contamination is on several Gibraltar Rock parcels.  Will the blasting put at risk the entire area surrounding the proposed quarry including the Perkiomen Watershed? 
     

  • During August our witness, Gil Marshall of Marshall Geoscience, Inc. in Collegeville, will be cross-examined by the quarry’s attorney.  The public will then have an opportunity to ask questions of our witness.  When that is completed, New Hanover Township special counsel, Robert Brant, will present the township’s expert hydro-geologist.
     

  • If you would like to attend one of these hearings, they are usually held on the first Thursday of each month, starting at 6:30 pm at the township office.  Even if you arrive late or must leave early, we would appreciate your attendance when possible.  You may check the New Hanover Township website for meeting cancellations:  newhanover-pa.org

 

Permit Renewals

 

  • In 2014, the Penna. Environmental Hearing Board ordered Gibraltar Rock to file for the renewal of their mining permit.  The company started that process in early 2015.  They also filed for renewal of their NPDES permit (National Pollution Discharge  Elimination System).  In 2015, the PA-DEP found some deficiencies in their mining permit application, all related to the Hoff VC HSCA contamination site.
     

  • In March of this year, the Penna. DEP permitting office in Pottsville came to this area to hear the public’s objections to the renewal of the NPDES permit.  Many residents, including approx. 100 residents of Frederick Living, mailed their objections to the DEP office in Pottsville.  The renewal of both permits remains under consideration by the DEP (Dept. of Environmental Protection). 
     

  • The critical concern is the hazardous waste from the Good Oil contamination site that was identified by the state DEP (Hoff VC HSCA site) in 2011, and the fact that the DEP has not yet located the “hot zone”, nor have we heard of a plan for clean-up of the site. 

 

Ban the Quarry’s attorney submitted a large file containing our objections to the permit renewals.  We demand that the Hoff VC site be totally remediated before issuing the permits to Gibraltar Rock.  We believe it is the responsibility of the Penna. Dept. of Environmental Protection to protect the health and welfare of this community and the entire state.

 

Land Development Plan

 

  • In June of 2015, the New Hanover Township Board of Supervisors granted “preliminary approval” of Gibraltar Rock’s land development plan, with conditions.  We believe the Township’s actions were inappropriate considering there were too many outstanding issues with the Gibraltar Rock plan.  The plan wasn’t “clean” and was not ready for a vote.  Against all of our objections and the strong statements of opposition from the residents, the Board of Supervisors gave Gibraltar Rock “preliminary approval” of their plan last June.  The Board included a  Resolution  containing a list of requirements necessary for Gibraltar Rock to complete before expecting “final plan approval” from the township.  The plan and resolution are currently “on hold”.

Gibraltar Rock, Inc. filed their first application to quarry in the year 2000, sixteen years ago.  They could have started quarrying many years ago, by following the state and local laws.  The company is only permitted to quarry in the Heavy-Industrial zones, but they did not want a “small quarry”.   By filing many court appeals they have attempted to gain permission to quarry in all zoning districts, to no avail – they have failed in all attempts.

Paradise Watchdogs-Ban the Quarry has appreciated your support for 16 years.  As you can see, we are fighting three battles currently: 

  • the new application encompassing 82 acres

  • two quarry permit renewals

  • the ongoing land development process

 

The Court of Common Pleas had ordered in 2010 that Gibraltar Rock cannot begin quarrying without a township-approved plan.  There is currently a court-ordered injunction preventing Gibraltar Rock from starting the quarry.

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This site was last updated
April 27, 2020

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