BLM returns RMR’s quarry application a second time |

BLM returns RMR’s quarry application a second time

Work continues at the Rocky Mountain Resources quarry north of the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park on a chilly and wet Thursday afternoon.
Work continues at the Rocky Mountain Resources quarry north of the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park on a chilly and wet Thursday afternoon.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Rocky Mountain Resources still has more work to do on its proposal to expand the Glenwood Springs quarry.

The Bureau of Land Management returned a proposed plan of operations modification for the Mid-Continent quarry Friday, saying the over-350-page document was incomplete.

This is the second version of the proposal that BLM has returned as incomplete.

“This back and forth between operator and BLM with a large proposal is not unusual,” David Boyd, BLM spokesman for the Colorado River Valley Field Office said. “A lot of detail is required.”

The review was for completeness under the regulations, and “not an evaluation of the proposal itself,” Boyd said.

The BLM returned RMR’s first proposal Dec. 21, and in a letter listed 73 areas that needed to be addressed, or more specific.

In a letter to RMR dated Friday, the BLM included 35 areas where the second draft of the mining plan lacked sufficient information.

New CRVO field director Larry Sandoval wrote, “there are additional items that remain, as well as several new items that were discovered during this review.”

One issue RMR has not addressed in the proposal is the quarry’s current noncompliance with existing permits.

There apparently is a sediment control structure at the quarry that is unauthorized, and the RMR has not explained how that area will be reclaimed.

In addition to the 35 specific issues, the BLM also had a number of general questions.

RMR said in its proposal that exploratory drilling has occurred within the proposed expansion area, but in their letter, BLM officials stated: “BLM has no record of authorizing any exploration activities within or around Mid-Continent Quarry from 1982-2017.”

BLM asked RMR to provide documentation of approved exploratory drilling.

The BLM has no timeline for when the next draft of the proposal should be returned.

When the officials deem the plan complete, they will begin an environmental review process, either an Environmental Impact Statement or Environmental Assessment.

 “We will conduct a thorough evaluation of the proposal, which will include multiple opportunities for public involvement, at some point after we receive a plan of operations we deem complete,” Boyd said.

Since RMR’s first proposal, the Glenwood Springs City Council made a statement and resolution voicing opposition to RMR’s expansion.

“[Expansion] of the mine would lead to large visual impacts, mire the city in truck traffic, damage the thriving tourist economy, and seriously impact the water quality and air quality for thousands of rural Coloradans,” the unanimous resolution said.

The Garfield County Board of County Commissioners has scheduled a public hearing to review RMR’s alleged violations of the county’s permit.

The hearing will begin at 6 p.m. Monday at Glenwood Springs Middle School.

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