Group forms to challenge quarry near Mountain View
Wed, 11/03/2021 - 2:11pm admin
“We can still fight this quarry, and I think we have a good chance of stopping it,” said Dale Henry, with the Eleven-Seventeen Watershed Association, a newly formed group that is challenging a proposed quarry near Mountain View. The mine property borders the Eleven Point River near where it crosses Hwy. 17, several miles south of town.
Group members are encouraging area residents to sign a petition that asks the Mo. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to conduct an on-site study to determine if a quarry can be safely operated at this vulnerable location. They are concerned that mine wastewater could pollute the Eleven Point River.
Petitions can be signed at Sunshine Market, 208 W. First St., Mtn. View. Anyone who may be impacted by the mining operation is invited to participate in the new association, Henry said. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 417-274-1910 to join the group, or to help circulate a copy of the petition.
In September DNR granted a mining permit to KTF Quarries LLC to extract limestone and sandstone from a 103-acre tract just northeast of the river-highway crossing, but the company still needs to obtain at least three more permits before mining operations can begin.
Henry, a Mtn. View businessman who grew up on land adjoining the mine property, says at least one of the other three permits might be difficult for the mining company to obtain, because the Eleven Point River is an Outstanding National Resource Waterway. That designation provides special protection under water pollution laws, meaning the mine must be a no-discharge facility.
Quarry opponents point out that ponds in that area rarely hold water, and they’re concerned that mine wastewater might easily escape from a retention pit or pond and flow underground.
Dave Woods, a hydrologist with the Ozark Underground Laboratory, Protem, says the mining site lies within an area of significant karst development (sinkholes, caves, springs). There’s a “very high likelihood” that process water from the quarry pit will enter the groundwater, he said, and “groundwater moves quickly and over long distances in this region.”
The quarry property is within the recharge area for Greer Spring, Missouri’s second-largest spring and a major tributary to the Eleven Point.
As previously reported by Howell County News, nearly 100 residents turned out in August at a previous meeting about the quarry. Nearly all public comments were opposed. In addition to concerns about the river, they asked if blasting would damage their wells or introduce sediment to well water. They worried about dust, road damage from heavy trucks, and reduced property values.
DNR officials at the August meeting said the Missouri law that guides mine permitting does not take in to account public opposition or impacts to neighbors’ quality of life. Any company that meets mining law criteria must be given a permit, said Larry Lehman, director of DNR’s land reclamation program. Indeed, DNR granted the mining permit on September 27.
Great Rivers Environmental Law Center, a St. Louis nonprofit law firm representing members of the Eleven-Seventeen Watershed Association, sent a letter to DNR asking the agency to conduct a site investigation to determine if the Eleven Point River and nearby drinking water wells could be adequately protected. Names submitted with the above-mentioned petition will reinforce that request.
During a steering committee meeting held Thursday, the Eleven-Seventeen Watershed Association formed a board of directors. They are: Dale Henry, president, Scott Roy, vice president, Tina Harris, treasurer, Valene Pringle, secretary, and members Bill Echols, Ron Graef, and Sophie Stephens. All are Mtn. View residents or property owners near the proposed quarry.
A 13-minute video that shows highlights of the August meeting is available at the the online version of this story at www.howellcountynews.com. The video, produced by the action group, features residents’ protests along with explanations from the quarry owner and DNR officials.
A 13-minute video that shows highlights of the August meeting is available at the link below; it features residents’ protests along with explanations from the quarry owner and DNR officials.