WINNSBORO — Prior to a smaller and more intimate meeting with the Department of Health and Environmental Control on Thursday, opposition of a proposed mining company delivered a presentation that previewed their concerns for County Council in a 10-minute presentation.
The opportunity to present was granted to Dorthy Brandenburg after a June 16 meeting with the county’s Presentation Committee at Midlands Technical College in Winnsboro.
Brandenburg presented information about the mining application for Winnsboro Crushed Stone.
The proposed site is located at the southeast end of Rockton Thruway, which is approximately four miles southeast of Winnsboro and 2.2 miles away from the intersection of U.S. 321 and S.C. 34.
Going into the presentation, Brandenburg stressed the importance of receiving data whether the community is for or against a proposed rock quarry.
“It doesn’t matter if you want the quarry to come into this county or you don’t we need the information,” she emphasized. “In order to make educated decisions moving forward we need the information.”
Various requests that she sent to DHEC in a three-page letter included a noise survey and a wind study.
Some edits to the application that she feels need to be made include the position of the pressure, which according to Brandenburg is not very resident friendly, but is economically efficient for the mining company.
“Although we feel like there is a middle ground that we can reach where everybody can be happy, but again we need data,” she stated.
Considering responsibilities on both side, Brandenburg would like to see the overall burden lessened on the residents when it comes to conserving water, “because we were here first we have a right to a little bit accommodation,” she said.
Brandenburg would like to see each side demonstrate a willingness to work together.
“What kind of neighbor can we expect coming into our county,” she inquired.
Brandenburg questioned how the mining company would use water to control the dust with the Town of Winnsboro currently looking for a sustainable water source.
“How are we going to get the water in there and how are we going to move forward,” she asked. “If we want to wash clothes and take a shower at the same time we can’t. You pick one and then you do the other, which has been my personal experience.”
When it comes to air quality, Brandenburg expressed concern about how much dust would be contained.
“In my opinion a little bit unreasonable to expect 100 percent,” she stated. “You can shoot for it but there will always be a little bit that gets away and where is going to go.”
Brandenburg reiterated that the mining company plans to use water to contain the dust, but she again questioned how does the company know the water will be available.
“How do we know how that is going to play out,” she asked. “That is information we don’t have at this point.”
The application sites the company will use water to contain the dust, but Brandenburg believes there needs to be further explanation.
She also expressed concern about the environmental impact and the species that will be on the move.
“This is a category one habitat demolition and they’re going to have to go somewhere,” Brandenburg explained. “There is a chance in the disruption of the wetlands.”
Following Brandenburg’s presentation, Fairfield County Administrator Milton Pope told council the mining applicant Rich Moses has been trying to set up a meeting for a site visit to a current quarry. Pope said Moses and a colleague brought by information provided by them that would be posted on the county’ website at www.fairfieldsc.com.
The packet included mapping information.
Council recently tasked Pope with scheduling a site visit to one of the applicant’s current operations in Jefferson.
Pope said the company would be available to host a site visit, council just needs to agree on date.
“They will supply a van or a bus to be able to look at the operation,” Pope advised. “I think they want to schedule a situation where it is a full operation day.”
The Jefferson site is currently at a depth of 200 feet according to Pope, although he noted the permit will allow them a 300 foot depth.
Pope said he would work with county staff and council to schedule a trip if they wished so.
Comments or inquiries about the application should be sent to the attention of Joe Koon, SCDHEC, Division of Mining and Solid Waste Management, 2600 Bull Street, Columbia, South Carolina, 29201. You can also reach him by phone at 803-898-1371.
For more information, click the DHEC Mining Application link on the county’s website at www.fairfieldsc.com.