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Supervisors, quarry developer work on details of land developme

March 02, 2006|by DON AINES

ST. THOMAS, PA.

The St. Thomas Township Board of Supervisors and the developer of a proposed quarry ironed out some details of a final land-development plan for the project in advance of a possible March 15 vote.

Quarry operations could begin this summer at the 89.5-acre site off Campbells Run Road, said Tony DePaul of The DePaul Group, which owns St. Thomas Development Inc. In addition to the surface mining permit his company received Wednesday from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, DePaul said the company also has the permit needed for rock-crushing operations.

No DEP permit is required for a concrete plant at the site and the company is applying for the required permit for an asphalt plant at the site, he said. It could be two or three years before an asphalt plant is in operation, DePaul said.

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"I know everybody's had a lot of apprehension about this, but they (DEP) are very good at regulating us," said DePaul, whose company owns several quarries.

Township Solicitor John Lisko said it appears that St. Thomas Development is in a position to comply with the conditions set in the preliminary land development plan approved by the supervisors in December 2003.

DePaul said his company will work with the township and residents to keep disruptions from quarry operations to a minimum.

"We're not here to create problems. We work within the confines of the law," he said.

Among the DEP special conditions for the mining permit is pre-blasting surveys of properties within 1,000 feet of the quarry. St. Thomas Development Operations Manager Dwayne Johnson said, however, that St. Thomas Elementary School, which is about 1,200 feet from the site, also will be included in the surveys.

Tuscarora School District Superintendent Thomas Stapleford said air-quality monitoring will be conducted at the school by a firm selected by the district. Baseline studies of air quality will be taken before the quarry opens and will be monitored afterward, he said.

"We intend to be very aggressive about that," Stapleford said.

No blasting will be allowed at the quarry during regular school hours, according to one of the DEP permit conditions, but Johnson said blasting is excluded from DEP air-quality regulations. Dust raised by rock crushers, trucks and other machinery is another matter, he said.

"The rule of thumb is it cannot leave the property line," he said.

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