MAD RIVER TOWNSHIP ─ Mad River Township, Village of Enon and Greenon Local School District officials and other public servants in Greene County, have thrown their support behind hundreds of concerned township residents who oppose a proposed quarry that would border their properties and Greenon Junior/High School.
Enon Sand and Gravel is asking the state to allow the merging of two existing mining permits and the significant modification of a mining plan on 420.6 acres in the township. These changes would allow the company to blast, drill approximately 63 feet deeper, and use a dewatering process that would extract thousands of gallons of groundwater that would be discarded into Mud Run Creek.
In an April 3 letter to Lanny E. Erdos, Chief of the Division of Mineral Resources Management at the ODNR, the township trustees expressed their opposition to the proposed permit modifications.
The trustees stated that officials at Clark County Community Development raised questions as to whether proper processes and procedures were followed when the existing permits were issued in 1977 and later amended. Since that time, there has been significant residential development in the adjacent area. The proposed modification to allow pumping and discharging of water to facilitate mining to an increased depth would require a review by the Clark County Board of Zoning Appeals in order to grant a conditional use for this significant change in the mining operation.
The trustees also pointed out to the ODNR that potential air quality issues were not addressed by the Ohio EPA or the Regional Air Pollution Control Agency.
Potential damage to nearby homes, outbuildings, and the school from blasting was another issue the trustees addressed.
“Enon Sand and Gravel dealt with residents’ concerns by vaguely promising to survey structures prior to blasting and assessing damages after blasting occurs. Determining damages after the fact is not acceptable,” the trustees stated.
The proposed permit modifications would also be in direct violation of the Mad River Township Land Use Plan, “Preserving Our Heritage in a Changing Environment” that was adopted in 2002.
Enon Mayor Tim Howard and Village Council President Stephen Trout echoed much of the same concerns in their April 10 letter to the ODNR. They stated that the Village of Enon public water supply is located approximately two and one half miles from the proposed mining/blasting operation and serves nearly 7,000 people daily.
The village officials also expressed similar concerns about residential properties downstream from Mud Run Creek. These properties are located within the 100-year floodplain and there is documented flooding that has occurred frequently over the past 35-to-40 years. Flooding from Mud Run Creek has resulted in evacuations and caused thousands of dollars in property damage.
Increased truck traffic on Village of Enon roadways would create additional wear and deterioration. The expense associated with repair and repaving would ultimately be the responsibility of the Village of Enon. The establishment of specific routes would need to be addressed by Enon Sand and Gravel.
In their April 12 letter to the ODNR, the Greenon Local School District Board of Education stated their strong opposition to the permit modifications, emphasizing that the proposed changes could potentially impact both the water level and water quality at the district’s junior/senior high School property.
Both the Yellow Springs Village Council and Tecumseh Land Trust have also shown their support for the township residents.
In their April 3 letter to the ODNR, the Yellow Springs Village Council urged the ODNR and all regulatory agencies involved to ensure that adequate studies are completed regarding the impact to the groundwater, roads, and structures, as well as the overall quality of life for residents, businesses, and institutions in the area.
The Tecumseh Land Trust (TLT) currently holds conservation easements on over 400 acres of prime farmland.
Linda Collins is a freelance reporter for Greene County News.
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