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Residents air concerns about quarry growth

June 25, 2002|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

Chris Herrmann said Monday night that he moved from Baltimore County to get away from a quarry that generated an excess of dust and a "hole that's halfway to China."

Now, Herrmann said he fears he'll have similar problems if the Beaver Creek Quarry receives a mining permit that would expand the quarry by 90.63 acres.

"I've seen how these holes can get huge," Herrmann said. "They build walls around them so you can't see what's going on on the inside."

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Herrmann was one of about 40 people who turned out at Highland View Academy for a public hearing on the proposed expansion.

The hearing was held by the Maryland Department of the Environment, which must approve the permit that would allow the proposed expansion.

H.B. Mellott Estate Inc. is seeking the permit for the quarry, which is near the Md. 66-Interstate 70 interchange.

Carl Boyer, vice president of the environment department for H.B. Mellott, said the permit would give the quarry permission to mine the 90.63 acres on the east side of Md. 66, close to I-70.

Of the 90.63 acres, 61.9 acres are on land known as the Schneider property. The Washington County Planning Commission will decide on July 1 whether to approve the site plan for the Schneider property, Iseminger said.

Iseminger is also a member of the Planning Commission.

Boyer said mining on the east side would enable the quarry to extract better rock for concrete and asphalt.

He said berms would be built around the quarry and planted with grass to help maintain the aesthetics of the surrounding area.

He said a 6-foot-high chain-link fence and an 8-foot-high deer fence would surround the expanded quarry.

Residents said that in addition to worries about dust and noise, they were concerned the expansion would have negative effects on Beaver Creek, create sinkholes and dry up wells.

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