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Environment

Controversial Quarry Project Proceeds

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Brian Bull
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KLCC

By a 4-1 vote, the Lane County Board of Commissioners has tentatively approved an application for a quarry development near Oakridge.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, some locals are upset over the project.

  

Prior to Tuesday’s meeting, a small band of protesters gathered outside the Lane County Courthouse.  Among them was Terry Crawford of Oakridge, and Kevin Matthews of neighboring Dexter.  Both men have concerns over the Old Hazeldell Quarry project, which is expected to yield 17-million tons of rock for transportation projects.  

"The very fine particulates sifting down over town," says Crawford.  "And the water, it’s just above the Oakridge city wells."  

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Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
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KLCC
Another demonstrator outside the Lane County Courthouse on Tuesday.

“This quarry site has tremendous landslide hazards, there are undisclosed traffic hazards. It’s a significant cultural site,” adds Matthews.  

Board commissioners imposed several new approval conditions on the application, submitted by quarry backer and winery owner, Ed King. 

Matthews says once the decision to develop the quarry is finalized -- perhaps at a February meeting -- he and other quarry opponents will appeal it. 

In an emailed statement, Old Hazeldell Quarry spokesman Phil Donovan says the project will operate in an “environmentally sound manner” and “provide critical resources for repairing Oregon’s transportation infrastructure.”

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