OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – Residents of Lee County gathered in the Opelika Municipal Court on Thursday to discuss the potential rock quarry that may be added to Highway 29 in Beulah. It was a public hearing where pre-registered residents lay out their concerns about the quarry and its possible effects on the community to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.
CreekWood Resources LLC Managing Member, Jeff Major, was present to discuss the benefits of adding a rock quarry of the community. Major said he expects the motion to be passed.
“What we’re doing exceeds the requirements of the state and federal law so I don’t see a reason why we would not be approved,” said Major.
According to CreekWood officials, benefits of the quarry included more jobs for the community and lower cost rates for construction.
The quarry permit would allow for: “the construction and operation of a granite crushing, screening and conveying circuit with wet suppression, and a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit (water) permit for discharges of treated drainage from a wet and dry preparation granite quarry and associated areas to Halawakee Creek and an unnamed tributary to Halawakee Creek.”
Residents of the community expressed their disapproval of the proposed rock quarry. Many were concerned with the environment surrounding the quarry as well as their homes. Decreased home value, increased noise levels, and health of all nearby residents were some of the key concerns those who live in the area expressed.
“This is our home. This is where our grandkids come to visit their granny and their poppa. This is where we spend time with family, this is where we make memories and we don’t want to lose that. We want to be there, we want stay where our kids know we have a livelihood,” said Naomi Rigby, a resident of Lee County.
Rigby expressed her frustrations with the motion and said she hopes the state will protect its residents.
Previously, CreekWood unsuccessfully attempted to put a rock quarry in Opelika.
Citizens have until May 27, 2021 to express their concerns about the rock quarry to the ADEM. Those wishing to comment on the quarry permit can do so by either mail or email with following contact information:
Ronald W. Gore, Chief
PO Box 301463
Montgomery, AL 36130-1463
Jeffery W. Kitchens, Chief
PO Box 301463
Montgomery, Alabama 36130-1463
The entire hearing can be view on the Alabama Department of Environmental Management’s YouTube channel.