More organizations have come out against a proposed expansion of the Enon Sand and Gravel mining permit and neighbors have formed an opposition group.
The Mad River Twp. Trustees sent a joint letter to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mineral Resources Management last week.
The Tecumseh Land Trust also issued a statement to ODNR last week to share concerns more mining may have on drinking water and farmland.
Enon Sand and Gravel applied in November 2016 to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Mineral Resources Management to merge two existing permits. It also requests to mine limestone, digging about 60 feet deeper on a 400-acre property near a few businesses, about 200 homes and a high school.
Township trustees became aware of the modification request at the beginning of March. A meeting held late last month involved the township, residents, ODNR and Jeurgensen Aggregates, the parent company of Enon Sand and Gravel.
At the meeting Jeurgensen President Dennis Garrison said the company wants to be as transparent as possible and understands the concerns of neighbors. The site has been mined before and the company wants to see what else it can do with the property that has been permitted for mining for decades.
If the permit changes are denied, Garrison said Jeurgensen still intends to mine the property under its current permit.
The business owns 16 other sites in Ohio, Garrison said at the meeting, and complies with all state regulations and air quality rules. The company has only had two complaints about well water issues at any of its sites in the past year, he said.
Since the meeting, residents have come together and mobilized Citizens Against Mining to have their voices heard. The group met Sunday at Young’s Jersey Dairy to make signs, send letters and sign petitions.
“That will be a fairly hard demonstration for these organizations to ignore. They will have to stop and think about rubber-stamping this proposal and they will have to listen to the voice of the citizens,” said Kyle Peterson, an organizer of Citizens Against Mining.
The petitions and letters of protest will be sent to the ODNR, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Attorney General Mike DeWine, Clark County commissioners and Clark County Community Development Department, an organizer said.
Jurgensen wasn’t aware of the additional opposition and said he couldn’t comment on it.
Mad River Twp. Trustee Kathy Estep said more groups against the permit only helps.
“It only strengthens the cause of the residents to see groups like the Tecumseh Land Trust come out in opposition,” she said.
Susen Wright, a Mad River Twp. resident who lives near the proposed quarry site, agreed and said she still has many concerns.
“It just seems like there are a lot of questions, environmental questions, that were asked and that Enon Gravel didn’t have any answers for,” she said about the meeting last month.
The includes concerns about where water taken out of the ground will be pumped, Peterson said.
Residents and groups against the mining permit have until Friday, April 21, to submit public comments, said Stephanie Leis with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. After that date, they will be reviewed and used for the approval or denial of the permit modification application.
If the permit is approved, Peterson said residents and groups still have a chance to intervene.
“We also have to protest at the county level to and hope the board of zoning appeals, which are appointed by our Clark County commissioners, will deny the permit.”