Friday, May 22, 2009

UPDATE: Feedback on Blasting


The controversy continues to brew on the proposal to allow underground blasting in Anderson Township, as residents fear the potential impact on a number of commuities. The next public hearing is June 4, at Turpin High School. (Here's a summary of the public hearing, which I attended last night. It's fair to say it was packed, and almost unanimously opposed).

In the meantime, I know the public hearings are packed, lines are long, and comments are limited to two minutes. So I'd love to hear people's comments on this proposal here.

32 comments:

Stefan said...

David,
As a Council Member in Terrace Park (directly down wind from the proposed mining operation) I cannot express the amount of anxiety this community has over this proposal. If you are ever in our area, just drive through Terrace Park and see the number of "No Mining" signs that are in the yards.

My concerns include:
- Dust that will drift down over the village and our soccer and baseball fields from the explosive mining they will conduct to get down to the level they want to mine as well as the dust from the trucks leaving the mine. This could harm the lungs of our citizens, particularly young children.
- The explosives that will be stored on the site that could potentially be stolen by someone with bad intentions.
- In drilling down, the aquifer of the Little Miami river could be breached.
- The lights that will be on all through the night will significantly add to the light pollution of the area, which as an amateur astronomer concerns me.
-The vibrations from the operation threaten the structural stability of homes in Terrace Park and the value of properties in general.
-The number of trucks that will be entering and leaving the site will have a detrimental affect on traffic in the area.

The Village Council of Terrace Park is committed to fighting this proposal. Our Solicitor, Robert Malloy, is one of the attorneys assisting the CABOOM organization in their fight against the mine. Many of our citizens have been attending the Zoning Appeals meeting to keep informed and in some cases provide testimony against the mine.

Needless to say, David, I, as well as many Terrace Park citizens are STRONGLY opposed this project. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to give me a call.

Stefan L. Olson
Terrace Park Council Member

pattinormile said...

David,
Many thanks for this opportunity to share feelings about the issue of mining so close to communities deserving to have their health, tranquility and stability preserved.

In the hours of hearings that have gone into this endeavor, one aspect seems to be in short supply by the proponents of the project: common sense. Common sense tells us that 500 gigantic trucks a day driving over country roads present a hazard. Common sense tells us that driving such a truck through a small trough of water will not cleanse its wheels before entering the roadways as was stated at one meeting. That statement was met with muffled guffaws by folks with common sense. Common sense tells us that carcinogen-laden dust floating on the airways will not produce good health for anyone, least of all those with asthma or other respiratory ailments. Common sense says treasure an idyllic waterway like the Little Miami rather than endangering it. Common sense says that once such a project is underway, little can be done to stop it when the inevitable problems arise.

Common sense says it is unwise to allow blasting and mining that will provide large profits for a few at the expense of health, homes and happiness of so many.

Please help curtail this proposed project.

Sincerely,
Patti Normile

Emily said...

Dear Mr. Pepper:
The greatest implication from this mining application is what we do not know. Anderson Township is at a crossroads. If they approve this, there is no turning back and the already fragile Little Miami River Valley community could be tipped out of balance and detrimentally changed. Once "blasting" is allowed, what will the domino effect bring?

At the May 20 hearing, Anderson resident Tom Winstel, who lives on top of a hill that overlooks the proposed mining operation, gave us a vivid picture of how the air gets trapped in this valley. He described what looked like a "jetty of black smoke" (from a plant that is now closed) bouncing along the walls of the valley throughout the day without dissipating.

The point is, the air we share doesn't stop at the Anderson Township line. There are no boundaries. Although this is an Anderson decision, it affects its neighbors more than most Anderson residents.

Our air is already compromised.

Hamilton and Clermont Counties do not currently meet USEPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter or ozone. Congress and the USEPA established these standards as baseline levels of air quality necessary to protect public health with an ample margin of safety.

One other thing that I keep returning to is the Anderson Comprehensive Plan - a long-term vision for their township that was created by a steering committee, residents, and government agencies to help guide officials in making decisions for the betterment of the community. The area in question is envisioned for "light industry" (i.e. office parks, etc.).

The Anderson BZA is doing their due diligence in hearing this case and has a monumental decision ahead of them.

Luckily, the public will have the opportunity to speak to them at Turpin High School, 2650 Bartels Road, on June 4th from 6:30 until 10 p.m. Citizens need to register to speak and can acquire a form the night of the hearing or prior by visiting www.andersontownship.org. Click on "Citizen Committees" and "Board of Zoning Appeals". The form is not up right now, so check back soon. There will be a two-minute time limit for individuals, but representatives of groups or organizations are encouraged to speak and may be permitted more time.

Thank you for creating a space for some much-needed community dialogue. We appreciate the opportunity.

Sincerely,
Emily Parker

jab said...

David: Thank you for expressing your concern about this important matter. We are residents across the Little Miam River and above the Evans Landscape (mulch) Depot. We have several concerns regarding the proposed deep limestone mine in this valley: (1) The nuissance aspect of noise, limestone dust, light pollution and heavy industrial traffic will be greatly increased. To witness the existing problem from the Evans operation, you are invited to come to our residences and listen to the (OSHA-required) back-up beepers that start at 4 or 5 in the morning and are constant. Also the flood lights that eminate from the site and illuminate the valley. (2)We are concerned that these increased nuissances will continue to cause a decrease in land values, and future land values will likely be adversely affected. Who wants to live by a mine site or any heavy industrial site? There is no way to provide an effective buffer between these incompatible land uses, because of the topography! (3) We are concerned that approval of this operation will provide a precident which will allow other land-owner in the industrial zone of this valley (such as Evans) to also do limestone mining or to lease their underground mineral rights to the Mining company, further amplifying these problems. (4) From an Environmental standpoint we are very concerned that The Little Miami River will leak into the underground mine spaces, as river water will migrate through the glacial alluvium (sand and gravel) through fissures in the limestone bedrock, caused by blasting, into the mines. This water and process water will necessarily be pumped from the mines, presumably into a lake with the excess being returned to the river. I believe that the water dynamics of the river will be altered, and that the returning lime water, highly alkaline, will change the aquatic biology of a significant portion of the Little Miami River. For these reasons we are apposed to approval of this mining permit, and would suggest that the Mining company develope a less urban site where the negative operational issues can be properly mitigated.

Tom Reynolds said...

Mr. Pepper,
Thank you for being proactive in seeking out residents opinions regarding the Martin Marietta conditional use permit.

I live in Terrace Park and the only affect this mine will have for me will be a negative one.
The noise, air, and light pollution that will be generated will change this community and surrounding communitites for the next 50 years.

I have a multitude of concerns, and so as not to repeat what others have written, I would just say that I whole heartedly agree with what Stefan, Patti, and Emily have written.

But, one of my biggest concerns is the effect this mine will have on the children who would be playing sports in such close proximity to the mine. Drackett Field is directly across the river from the proposed mine site. The cumulative effect over the yers from breathing in the exhaust fumes and dust will be detrimental to the health of the children who play and practice sports at this field. We need to prevent this mine from compromising the health of our children.

One more comment that I'd like to make. When I was on the Anderson Township's website, it states there, that the Board is to decide on these issues in the best interest of the public. Considering the amount of opposition this proposal has generated, I fail to see how this would be in the best interest of anybody except Martin Marietta.

I hope that you help prevent this mine from destroying a wonderful part of Hamilton County.

Sincerely,

Tom Reynolds

Tom said...

David,

I am a Terrace Park resident and I am in strong opposition to the proposed mining operation. This is something that will have massive negative impacts to our village and my family personally. the negatives have already been described (noise and light pollution, air quality, traffic...the list goes on). Please consider these facts and stop the mining proposal.

Sincerely,
- Tom Cox
Terrace Park Resident

Tad D. Krafft said...

Mr. Pepper:

As a member of Terrace Park Recreation Committee, our organization and participants are deeply concerned with the proposed mining and the proximity of our playing fields – Drackett Field. Drackett Filed is .9 miles from the proposed blasting and mining. We are downwind for dust, pollution, and noise. We have calculated over 35,000 visits from fans and participants at our complex on an annual basis. All the sports leagues that use the facility are lining up to oppose the blasting and mining. The adverse effects of this blasting and mining operation on our community are well documented and go directly against the Anderson Zoning Resolution. How the BZA could grant a variance with this much opposition and potential damage to the neighboring citizens and community is unconscionable.

Laura Stanton said...

My concerns echo those of my neighbors. I would also like to offer a unique perspective as a former resident of Anderson Township. When I recently returned Anderson after many years away, I was pleasantly surprised to see the townshiop moving in a new direction. The Anderson Center on Five Mile Road, the great parks like Riverside Park on Roundbottom Road, and the new bike and pedestrian trails were a wonderful sight to see. It seemed to me that Anderson was looking forward and striving to remain one of the most livable, family-friendly neighborhoods in Cincinnati.

All of this progress, however, is threatened by the zoning changes being requested by Martin Marietta. Not only is a limestone mine counter productive to a neighborhood like Anderson, it actually poses environmental and medical threats to the children utilizing the family-oriented places that have been created, such as Riverside Park. In fact, the limestone mine would literally be across the street from that amazing park (not to mention Drackett Field in TP).

If the future vision of Anderson is to remain the progressive, family-friendly community that it currently is, the Anderson Township Board of Zoning Appeals must oppose the zoning changes proposed by Martin Marietta.

An underground limestone mine in Anderson for a minimum of 50 years, with the dust, explosives, and trucks that will come with it, is nothing short of a nightmare for residents in Anderson and the surrounding communities. And a definate turn in the wrong direction for a "most liveable", family-friendly neighborhood.

Thank you for listening to our concerns.

Laura Stanton

Vanessa Scocchera said...

David,
I'm a resident of the new development Eagle's Watch. Before buying the house here a few years ago, 3 main things drove my decision: Anderson is the greenest neighborood in the Greater Cincinnati area, has excellent schools and it is clean and safe, perfect for a family with kids.

I even looked on the EPA map to see if there was any hazardous activity in the area.

If they open the mine I'll deeply regreat my decision to say the least.

I'm really concerned about the quality of the air: for my kids, who love to play outdoor; for me becouse I developed since I moved to Cincinnati (a sign that the air is already bad) a health condition where any allergen, microbe or dust/toxin couse an asthma attack (and I can tell you doctors visits and medicines are getting really expencive!). I'm also concerned about the traffic. Route 32 is already a disaster, I cannot think what would happen with so many more trucks on it. Last I'm concerned that Anderson, the greenest neighborood in the Greater Cincinnati area, will become the Mine/Dusty neighborood. The home value will go down (as it didn't go down already enouth with this disastrous economy!), the school badget will go down with it. So from the neighborood with an "excellent" school we may become the neighborood with an everage school.


How can be possible that one of the biggest Corporation of construction material in USA can disrupt the life of such a "big" community?

"Hope" this time the answer will be different!

Claudia Kohlman said...

Mr. Pepper:

I am also a Terrace Park resident. I am in violent agreement with all of the comments and concerns already stated. "Unconscionable" is probably the best word I've seen yet (thank you Tad Krafft). How is this preposterous proposal even being entertained. Clearly, somebody stands to profit greatly from this idea such that concerns about the effects on humanity and our earth are simply considered irrelevant.
I love Terrace Park. I moved here for the peace and tranquility....and for the amazing community of people who somehow feel as one.
I am also the mother of two small children - a 6 year old son and 4 year old daughter. My six year old has been battling asthma since he was 2 years old. Over the past year or so, we've seen marked improvement and he's slowly weaning off of breathing treatments. He's growing out of it. I can't stand the thought that the mining dust could set him back and perhaps even worsen (not to mention affect the rest of the family). How would I even be able to consider the unthinkable of selling my house and moving in this market and under these conditions?
Also, the lights - COME ON!!!! I leave for work at an ungodly hour and can't believe the amount of light and electricity already being consumed at the sight. Really?
Enough said......I hope for the opportunity to express my outrage at the upcoming hearings.

Sincerely,
Claudia Kohlman

Lorrie said...

Mr. Pepper:
Thank you for providing the opportunity for public feedback on this important issue. As the President of the Terrace Park Historical Society, I want you to know that our organization stands firmly against the proposed mining. We believe strongly in the importance of maintaining the quality of life that has been the hallmark of our community since its founding. The noise and pollution from the mining and safey issues it raises cannot be underestimated. We are fiercely protective of our heritage and strongly oppose this threat! Please do not allow money to speak louder than the protection of citizens which must be the number one concern of all elected officials. Anderson has always been a good neighbor to it's surrounding communities and we hope this tradition will continue.
Thank you,
Lorrie Hill
Terrace Park Historical Society

Jeff said...

Mr. Pepper,

Thank you for taking the time to listen to the citizens in and near Anderson township.

As with the residents of Terrace Park, I live on a hill overlooking the Little Miami and Ancor area, however we are just to the east of the Martin Marietta property. We bought our home five years ago because it was a nice home in a convenient location yet it was nestled in a beautiful and quiet green area.

Martin Marietta bought their property only three years ago; the surrounding communities were well established. They are proposing the use of explosives, secondary and tertiary open air rock crushing, and subsequent rock processing/screening. They are currently planning on operating at least two ten hour shifts a day.

This area is similar to an amphitheatre; we hear what happens in the valley. Regardless of what their “expert” witnesses may claim, a neighbor that crushes rocks, uses explosives and operates heavy equipment nearly around the clock is a nuisance. This type of use is appropriate for property in a rural or heavy industrial area; not for property adjacent to residential areas.

Through months of hearings Martin Marietta has yet to show what benefit they are bringing to the area. Therefore, it seems that the BZA is considering allowing a property owner to become a nuisance for, as they testified, “at least the next fifty years” without bringing any benefit to the community.

Anderson township put together a beautiful comprehensive plan and is well on their way to becoming one of the best areas to live in Hamilton county. The plan included developing this area for light industry, not mining. Permitting this nuisance does not fit with the Anderson comprehensive plan, and it will degrade the quality of life, as well as the property values in the area.

Would you like your neighbor to start such an operation?

Please do what you can to put an end to this nonsense.

Jeff Strebel

molly steele said...

Dear Mr. Pepper,
I am a mother of four young children and a Terrace Park resident who is very concerned about the proposed mining and its detrimental affects on our community and my family. I agree with all of the other comments already made and I surely hope you can help us prevent mining in our back yard. Thank you for your time.
Sincerely,
Molly Steele

Melanie said...

As a ten year resident of Terrace Park, I am strongly opposed to the proposed mining operation of Martin Marietta! I have three active sons who spend most of their days outside enjoying sports at Drackett Field, the shores of the Little Miami or the beauty of their own yard. I am shocked that the BZA would consider passing this proposal and threatening the beauty of this area and more importantly, the health of the residents. How much money is at stake? With such opposition, voices are not being heard. I fear that money is doing all the talking! In the end, all will suffer.

Scott said...

David,

Your interest in hearing from regional community members in regards to the proposed Martin Marrieta mining operation is greatly appreciated.

I reside near the proposed blasting site with my wife and two children. My 3.5 year old has battled undiagnosed asthma & coughing attacks for the past six months and I strongly oppose the the mining operation which would clearly cause more dust particles in the air, most likely leading to increased asthma attacks in my family.

The dust is obviously only part of the future problems if this proposal is granted to Martin Marrieta. All noise activity across the Little Miami river from our home is easily carried over the water into our residence and that of our neighbors.

Please stand with our communities against this proposal. Corporate citizens don't get to vote in elections. The voting members of our community will remember your listening gesture and any future actions you will take on our behalf.

Regards,

Scott Jennings

Anonymous said...

David,
As a Terrace Park resident of 17 years, I whole-heartedly echo the concerns voiced by neighbors over Martin Marietta's proposed mining. As a homeowner on the Little Miami, I can speak to the very real concern about the impact of pollution on our river. And I also wish to raise the issue of truck traffic along the river - and directly across from Terrace Park. Martin Marietta has stated that the majority of their 500- plus-daily truck traffic will head onto Rt. 32 en route to I275. This vague calculation doesn't take into consideration any operations they will service north of the site; and these operations will necessitate the use of Round Bottom Road east to the Milford Parkway exchange of I275 - directly across the Little Miami from Terrace Park. This is already the case of much industrial traffic from the area, semis and large dump trucks, since the opening of the I275 exchange. Round Bottom is a two-lane, winding road, crossing over a railroad track, and traversing within feet of the banks of the Little Miami. Large trucks are already a hazard on this road. Martin Marietta trucks would not only be hazardous to drivers on this route; the dust fallout from them will pollute our river. Please take a drive along Round Bottom Road to fully appreciate the dangers both to drivers and the environment.
Many thanks for giving us all a venue to express our concerns. We do not do so without thoughtful consideration of the facts. And the facts, unfortunately, are deeply troubling...
Kathy

az said...

Mr. David Pepper,

Please take a moment and reflect on the fact that the Anderson BZA is considering a change that will affect our community in an absolutely irreversible way. The Board is trusted with the stewardship of assuring that any variance of land use will not be such that the "character of the neighborhood would be altered or suffer a substantial detriment." The area being considered is not some remote part of a town. The golf course, the park area, the new dog park, the bike path, and of course the Little Miami River, are the recreational heart of this community and will suffer severely should the Board fail to protect us. The blasting mine is in no way "compatible with surrounding uses" and would without a doubt "effect the health, safety, and morals of our (precious) community." Please be a good citizen of not only our neighborhood but of our Earth - denying the limestone mining is the right thing to do!


Sincerely,

Tracy Bessette-Swords
Terrace Park

Scot Rogers, Newtown said...

Mr. Pepper,
As a resident of Newtown since 1997, I am very concerned about Martin Marietta's plans. Such a business does not belong in the middle of a major metropolitan area such as the east side of Greater Cincinnati.

Others have mentioned the dangers to the Little Miami and its aquifer, the air quality that is already low, the light pollution and noise from the processing facility and the dangers of having such a huge amount of explosives in such a populated area. I'll address traffic.

Dust, carcinogenic Diesel fumes and noise go hand-in-hand with this type of operation. These dangers and annoyances will be spread along the route from the processing facility, all the way to the ultimate destination of those 500 - 700 trucks per day. Not bad if the facility were located in a remote, rural area. But, in this case, there are no routes from the facility out of the Township that do not pass single family residences. None.

To the north, they would go through Terrace Park or out Round Bottom road...many residences along either route. To the south, they would have to use Rt 32, which has residences from Clough all the way east to the Clermont County border (mine is one).

Trucks will go mainly east to I-275 (according to M.M.), but a great many will also go west on 32 through Newtown, along the Beechmont Viaduct, past Lunken Airfield (and golf course and park with running trail) down to the Ohio River where M.M.'s Kellogg yard is located.

Traffic jams, heavy road damage, a fog of diesel fumes & exhaust, along with increased noise, dust and gravel spills will follow all of these routes.

Please lend your support to the east side of your county and help send the message that this is the wrong place for this business.

I thank you for your time.

Scot Rogers,

Newtown

Tina Hesser said...

Mr. Pepper, thank you for your concern and time invested on behalf of thousands of families in Hamilton County that will be affected by this decision. A 50 YEAR IRREVERSIBLE DECISION. 50 years of peaceful living on a National Scenic River or 50 years of trucks, noise, light, explosives, dust,and disruption. Seems to me the only one that will benefit is Martin Marietta. $$$ Tina Hesser

Rev. Judy McBride, Terrace Park Resident said...

Dear Mr. Pepper,

I join my Terrace Park neighbors who have so eloquently expressed the grave concerns that many of us in the area have regarding the Martin Marietta proposal to the Anderson Township Board of Zoning Appeals.

Having sat through several of the BZA meetings, it is discouraging to realize how a huge corporation can "spin" something so fraught with negatives, in order to make it seem so harmless. I admit that my cynical take is that the bottom line may come down to a potential financial benefit to Anderson Township winning out over what is best for the health of human beings and the ecology.

I can only hope that my fears (and obviously many others') won't come true. Thank you very much for your seeking input and involvement in this important matter.

Meghan said...

David,

Thank you for seeking out our input. I truly hope your voice will be heard by the Anderson Board of Zoning Appeals--we need your help!!

My 4 year old daughter was diagnosed with asthma before the age of 2--after many frequent ER visits to help her to breath clearly. It pains me to think about how many more times we will visit the ER (albeit, an amazing institution) if this mine proposal is approved.

Did you know Cincinnati is ranked #2 in the entire United States for the amount of diesel truck traffic that use our area roadways? And the 500-700 daily diesel truck trips for the Martin Marietta mine in Anderson will only worsen the air pollution within the metro area.

Diesel trucks emit diesel particulate matter in the exhaust. From the high volume of truck traffic, the Cincinnati area has a very high level of this DPM, and thus, our respiratory health suffers. DPM are tiny--yet attractive vehicles for allergens and carcinogenic matter to attach to--and thus, enter our bodies via our lungs. Children are much more susceptible to this invasion--and thus, many times react with respiratory distress, and sometimes death. The additional health threats from DPM include lung damage, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), stroke, neurological damage, and many more. DPM not only poisons the body, it also slows the diffusion of oxygen into the bloodstream.

Did you know the rate in which Cincinnati youth are being diagnosed with asthma is at an all time high--and a new Division of Asthma Research has been created at the local hospital because of this outbreak?

The DPM from the mining trucks is just one major air pollutant concern...there are many more concerns with the carcinogenic dust that will rest upon our neighborhoods from the blasting of the limestone. Not just an eyesore, but also a major health threat.

And, the fact that we are up against a major company--who will smoothly try and convince everyone that they are the "good guys", is incredibly frustrating.

Many of the people I have spoken with in Anderson can not believe the Board of Zoning Appeals is still hearing the case--they thought common sense for sure and public outcry would have quickly ended the proposal.

Again, thank you for your involvement!!

Meghan Mills
Terrace Park

Barb Fox said...

I am a realtor and live in Anderson Twnshp.I am very concerned how this will affect my business!I have heard that the daily blasting can cause cracked foundations and there will be a lot of dust pollution!Who wants to move to an area like that?Property values will go down even further than they are now.As a homeowner myself that is very sad news. I vote NO TO THE MINING!my neighbors do too!
Thanks,
Barb Fox

Pax Lindell said...

Dear David –

Thank you for opening up this forum to those interested in the proposed Martin Marietta mining project. I can only hope the Anderson BZA members take time to read the comments and take them into consideration.

I am a resident of Terrace Park. In fact, I am raising a 4th generation of Terrace Parker’s and plan to pass along (as prior generations have) our great village in similar or better shape to future generations.

I echo the sentiments written in this forum from all of the neighbors surrounding the proposed mining site.

After attending my first Anderson BZA meeting I came away dismayed and confused. I must be missing something I thought so I kept attending meetings or reading the transcripts on meeting I couldn’t attend.

After listening to both sides experts it seems light pollution will occur. Noise pollution will occur. Air pollution will occur. Water pollution will occur. To what level this pollution will occur is in debate. Aren’t we all trying to reduce pollution? These are clearly health and lifestyle issues that can’t be denied or overlooked.

Today, as I write this, I have still not heard one positive reason why the Anderson BZA should even consider this action. At first, I assumed like many issues, it must revolve around raising additional money for the township. I can understand that Boards needs to take this into consideration.

However, this does not seem to be the case. During one of the meetings, the Board stated clearly that this mining project would in fact not raise significant funds for Anderson Township and would likely end up costing the residents of Anderson Township money! Only positive for Martin Marietta, negative for everyone in the region including the BZA’s own residents! Still confused.

Prior Anderson BZA members have volunteered their service to the community and spent many hours designing, debating and drafting a comprehensive future plan for the entire township including the Martin Marietta acreage. The plan calls for “light industry” in the proposed mining area. Industries that will actually increase the tax base, create more jobs than an underground mine and be in accordance with the “green” initiatives set in place by prior Boards.

Does the current BZA consider mining with explosives 400-800 feet under ground, crushing thousands of tons of rocks above ground, using thousands of gallons of water per day and running hundreds of heavy trucks each loaded with tons of limestone 20 hours a day “light industry”? Really?

There is an opportunity to stop this now. I hope the Anderson BZA respects its own residents, their neighbors and denies the variance.

The 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation Lindell’s - Terrace Park

John Vota said...

David---

The stated purpose of the Anderson Township Zoning Resolution is "For the purpose of promoting health, safety, morals, comfort or general welfare; to conserve and protect property and property values; to secure the most appropriate use of land; and to facilitate adequate but economical provision of public improvements, all in accordance with the provisions of Section 519.01 et seq. of the Ohio Revised Code" (Article I, Section 11).

The mine proposal provides none of these. Testimony has been given that it is a potential health and safety hazard; that increased traffic, dust and diesel fumes will be a discomfort to everyone; that property values are likely to be negatively impacted; that there are better uses of the land; and absolutely NO testimony has been given as to how this mine will "facilitate adequate but economical provision of public improvements".

This appeal should be rejected on its face.

Jeff and Stacy said...

Mr. Pepper,
I am a home owner / resident of Union Township. I live approximately 1 mile from the proposed mining site. I am AGAINST this proposal for all the reasons that have been so eloquently expressed on your blog. I'm grateful that Union Township has offically filed a resolution expressing their opposition as well (resolution number 08-22).

Please do what you can to ensure the concerns of home owners, surrounding townships, and villages are heard so that we don't suffer the consequences for the next 50 years!

Regards,
Stacy Strebel

tpmom said...

Thank you so much for creating this forum.

I have been against the MM mining since I first heard of it last summer. I have worked with many dedicated neighbors to get the word out. In fact, we even gave a presentation to the Terrace Park 6th graders so they could learn the facts and help educate others. Every time I have spoken to anyone about this issue, I get the same question--why would anyone (other then Martin Marietta) be FOR it?

This week I had the pleasure of escorting the Terrace Park "graduating" 6th graders on a canoe trip from Camp Dennison to Scenic River Canoe on Round Bottom Road. It was so beautiful! The kids had a great time, the river was beautiful, we saw plenty of wild life, the kids enjoyed swimming and playing in the river.

I couldn't help but think about how wonderful our community and river is. While many children are suffering from a lack of nature and outdoor time--our kids most often choose to be outside. They play lacrosse, baseball and soccer; canoe and swim in the river and run through the woods. Our children love the outdoors. We absolutely cannot let that be taken away from them!!!

Our canoe trip ended at Scenic River Canoe and the kids then went to the Township Pub to play outside have something to eat. What a great day! Our main concern was getting them safely across Round Bottom Road to the Pub. I was one of the last canoes to come in and I ended up waiting to cross Round Bottom Road by myself. Quite frankly I was terrified as giant trucks came barreling around the curve. I have lived in New York City and crossed many busy streets, but this was very scary. I cannot imagine what this will be like with additional traffic.

I thank you very much for your time and consideration on this issue,

Hester Sullivan
Terrace Park

Tricia said...

Dear Mr. Pepper-

Thank-you for having the insight to set up a much needed forum such as this. I am embarrassed to admit that I have not been active in opposing the MM mine over the past many months. I sadly used the excuse of too busy with my job, participating in my kids activities, my own recreational (like walking and tennis) and volunteer activities.. I was relying on all the work of my fellow Terrace Parker’s – they were doing a great job and I thought there was no way consideration of the variance would go this far.

The irony in all this is that most of my excuses not be personally active are all the things that stand to be negatively impacted by Martin Marietta’s proposed mine. I work hard at my job so I can live somewhere like Terrace Park. Walks in the neighborhood and on the bike trail and working in the yard all make the stress of the workweek worthwhile. My two boys play every Rec sport they can and spend countless hours every week down at Drackett Field and at the Terrace Park Swim Club. I work with a great group of people on the Terrace Park Recreation Committee to keep that program running and my husband works on the TP Swim Club Pool Board. All of these things stand to suffer greatly if this Mine variance is approved. It is not just a matter of quality of life – it is matter of health and safety. This harsh realization (along with some enlightenment from Tad Kraft) has prompted me to blog and to attend my first Public hearing tonight.

This is a very personal matter for each and every resident of Anderson, Newtown, Terrace Park, Indian Hill, Mariemont and other surrounding communities. I would love to see each member of the BZA stand up and explain how they personally can justify allowing this mine to happen in light of the huge short and long-term negative impact. Why in the world are they still considering it??

Thank-you for listening,
Tricia DiMichele

Kristine said...

David,

Thank you for offering to hear our concerns. I live in Terrace Park and am a mother of two children under 6. I love my community, but this mine will be a mile from our elementary school and I am scared of the consequences of this decision. The negatives regarding traffic, dust, noise, vibrations, and light and water pollution outweigh any positive outcome this mine can have for Anderson. There will be no going back from this decision and it will affect our communities for the next 50 years.

Martin Marietta says they will use “Best Practices” but it will be our children and grandchildren who will bear the brunt of the enforcing these best practices. The BZA have every right to refuse their appeal. In fact according to their zoning resolution the they cannot authorize a zoning certificate that is contrary to public interest. They have moral and ethical obligation as civic leaders to consider the tidal wave of problems they are leaving to future generations. I urge the BZA to say “no” to Martin Marrietta. And I urge people to come and show their opposition at the hearing tonight.

Kristine Flerlage

Rebecca Longardner said...

Mr. Pepper,

Thank you for providing a voice for all of us who have no vote on this issue. I am a mother of two young sons in Terrace Park who shares all of the concerns posted in this blog. Over the past several months I've attended several of the BZA meetings and have left each one feeling sick that a mine could operate - for the next 50 years! - near the community that I love. I have lived all over the world and can say that this is the first place that I have truly felt a part of and would do anything to protect. When faced with a move to Cincinnati three years ago, we carefully chose this area because it seemed like the ideal place to raise our sons. Proximity to the bike trail and the Little Miami River as well as numerous parks and good schools attracted us here, but the wonderful, generous people who live here also became treasures. I know I share my neighbors' concerns about their health and happiness should such a mining proposal be accepted by the Anderson BZA. Let us hope that precaution and common sense save the communities surrounding the Martin Marietta site.

Thank you,
Rebecca Longardner

newtownmarket said...

Mr. Pepper - Thank you for listening to our concerns. My name is Bob Palmisano. My wife and I have owned Newtown Farm Market for 20 years. It is located at 3950 Round Bottom Road, in Anderson. We have attended every BZA meeting, and at each meeting, new problems and issues arise. One expert that spoke compared this case to a pebble being dropped into an ocean, creating a multitude of ripple effects.

Our Market is adjacent to the Martin Marietta property and the site of the underground mine. They adjoin our property on three sides. This enormous undertaking by Martin Marietta will effect our Market considerably, as well as all the surrounding communities in this valley.

The truck traffic on Round Bottom Road is now hectic. 500 additional truck trips per day is unthinkable, with a speed limit of 40-45 mph. Across the street is Riverside Park. Families walk across Round Bottom to stop for ice cream or to shop at our store. People walk dogs. Motorcyclists and bicyclists have been using Round Bottom Rd for many, many years. The Police Dept is always ticketing drivers for speeding in front of our store. They can't keep the cars and trucks under control NOW - what will it be like with more truck traffic? Round Bottom is a 2 lane winding road with no shoulders.
I understand Martin Marietta has “vowed” to donate land for the construction of the planned connector road – but, when will that be? Before, during or after they have finished mining? 2 yrs, or 10 year? And in the meantime, how many trucks will have been on Round Bottom Road? Round Bottom Road is the only ingress/egress to accommodate oversize/large trucks. What will the damage be to the road?
For all the residents of Anderson who feel that their homes are on the other side of the community and, therefore, not affected -- their taxes will certainly be increased to pay for roads/police/fire, etc.

My concerns are the same as everyone at the meetings: health issues like asthma, safety issues, the vibrations from blasting effecting building foundations; the emissions in the air, hazardous wastes, the noise level from above-ground crushing/sorting, storage of explosives, the security to protect against theft of dynamite, the safety of the mining operation, the aquifer, the delicate balance of the land and nature in this valley -------

ALL OF THIS IS GOING TO BE HAPPENING DIRECTLY BEHIND MY PROPERTY. And for how many years, 50 or more?
I am very concerned with the future of my business and this entire section of communities - if Martin Marietta is allowed to mine.

Everyone needs to look at their property insurance policies. There is a standard form in all policies, dealing with "Causes of Loss" and exclusions of covered loss due to earth movement. One of those exclusions regarding earth movement is "mine subsidence, whether or not mining activity has ceased". Everyone with property in the area will be at risk(and how far away from the site will constitute enough distance for the insurance companies). Even if there were an earthquake, our property insurance would probably not cover losses.

In the end, this type of mining industry does nothing to "protect and enhance the quality of life" in Anderson Township or any of the surrounding communities. Thank you again for your time.

pattinormile said...

David,
In reading The Mountains of Saint Francis by Walter Alvarez, a renowned geologist, I discovered the following passage which might have relevance to the Martin Marietta project. I am no geologist but coming from this source, it seems worthwhile to pass along so that this information might reach the proper people.

"Limestones are accumulations of grains of mineral calcite, which has the chemical formula CaCO3. If calcite breaks down, it releases carbon dioxide gas, whose composition, CO2, can be seen in the calcite formula, along with a calcium atom, Ca, and another oxygen atom. If we think of the formula of calcite as CaO+CO2, we can understand that calcite and limestone are nature's way of storing carbon dioxide gas in a solid rock, which keeps it out of the atmosphere.

"Today, early in the twenty-first century, scientists and policy makers are seriously concerned about very small increases in atmospheric CO2 from our human activities. CO2gas can trap excess solar heat and cause global greenhouse warming, with serious consequences for global society. But colossal amounts of CO2 gas have been safely stored by nature in limestones. If it were in the atmosphere instead, this gas would trap so much heat that Earth would be as lethally not as Venus, where there are no limestones to keep CO2 out of the atmosphere. We living creatures owe a great debt of gratitude to limestones like the Calcare Massiccio!" [Bold emphasis is mine.]
A question lurks in my mind: Who stands to prosper should the mining project be approved and implemented?
Patti Normile
[The Mountains of Saint Francis: Discovering the Geological Events That Shaped Our Earth, Walter Alvarez. W. W. Norton, New York & London, 2009. p. 138]

Sue said...

I am an attorney who has resided for nearly 23 years in Terrace Park. My husband and I chose to raise our three children here due not only to the assets of the village itself, but also because of the sense of community that extends to the surrounding area. Throughout our years here, our family has supported and been grateful for the proximity of Anderson Township's many unique businesses and recreational facilities. Indeed, our current home is situated on the bank of the Little Miami River, from which we enjoy an ever-changing view of a wide array of wildlife on the opposite bank along Round Bottom Road in Anderson Township.

In light of that personal experience, I am both saddened and puzzled by the looming prospect that Martin Marietta's proposed mining operation in Anderson Township may disrupt for future generations of Anderson Township and other area residents the clean, safe, tranquil environment that we have come to love. Puzzled, because from a legal point of view, the proposal would seem to present not even a close call. The burden imposed by the proposed mining operation, in the form of increased traffic, light, noise, air pollution from particulate matter, environmental impact, and the risk [however slight] associated with storing explosives, would seem to exceed exponentially any potential benefit that Anderson Township might derive from having Martin Marietta do business within its borders.

This is especially true given that the product at issue -- limestone -- is scarcely a precious commodity in such short supply that extricating it from the earth is justified under any circumstances. While I respect and would defend a landowner's right to use its property for any permissible purpose that does not unduly burden surrounding landowners, the proposed use in this instance apparently is not permissible under existing law (hence the need for a variance), nor is it reasonable. Limestone is available in other locations far more suited to this type of operation -- places where no children would be forced on their daily commute to school to negotiate narrow roads crowded with heavily laden trucks; where no blue herons would have to abandon their nesting habitat in order to avoid the constant noise; where no soccer, lacrosse or other sports fields would lie barely downwind from noxious airborne substances carried to the lungs of
young athletes and spectators; etc.

To date, Anderson Township has done an enviable job of building a community that capitalizes on the wonderful natural resources at its disposal in order to offer its residents excellent recreational opportunities, and of drawing in others to patronize local businesses while enjoying those same recreational options. From my perspective, the decision here should rest on the answer to this single, straightforward question: how would changing Anderson Township's own zoning regulations in order to accommodate this proposed use enhance the lives of the citizens that the Anderson Township is bound to serve? To me, the answer is clear -- it would not. I urge the Board of Zoning Appeals to deny Martin Marietta the variance it seeks.

Thank you, Commissioner Pepper, for providing this forum for interested individuals to express our views.

Sue Ferrell Troller

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