Residents near Alabama quarry project concerned over pollution

Published 1:58 pm Sunday, February 16, 2020

Some residents are concerned about possible pollution as an Alabama company plans a quarry in the Opelika area.

Florence-based Creekwood Resources recently submitted applications for air and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits, The Opelika-Auburn News reported.

One of the permits would enable the company to discharge certain pollutants into local waters, the newspaper reported.

Limits would be placed on how often it could be done, but opponents say it would threaten the water quality of Saugahatchee Lake.

The lake, which is Opelika’s primary source for drinking water, is less than 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) away from where the quarry would be located.

The quarry would be located outside the city limits. But Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller said its daily operations would negatively impact the city, particularly the quality of life for residents. Among concerns: noise pollution from the quarry’s mining efforts and air pollution from its dust.

State regulators have determined that the proposed equipment and operations should be able to meet state and federal air pollution control requirements, city officials said in a fact sheet about the proposal.

Yard signs opposing the project have popped up in several neighborhoods, particularly in those located nearest to the proposed quarry.

Opelika City Schools Superintendent Mark Neighbors is also opposed to the project.

“We have 4,500 students and their parents and grandparents, so I think that it’s a quality of life issue for us,” Neighbors said. “Not just at school, but in our community. We’re 100% behind fighting it.”