Garfield County says quarry violated permit, again

The Mid-Continent quarry, owned by Rocky Mountain Industrials, was photographed during EcoFlight trip Feb. 27, 2020.
Thomas Phippen / Post Independent

Garfield County has issued a second notice of violation to quarry operator Rocky Mountain Industrials, Inc., for breaking the county’s permit.

In a March 31 letter to RMI, which was known formerly as RMR Industrials, county planner Sheryl Bower said staff had taken photo and video of quarry workers “excavating and removing material from the mountain and engaging in operations other than truck-hauling.”

Operating in violation of the county’s approvals may result in enforcement actions, including revocation of the special use permit.

“RMR [sic] has ten days to come into compliance,” the letter states.

RMI is already out of compliance with five alleged violations that have not been resolved, including operating during the winter months, Bower pointed out.

Outdoor blasting, excavating and stockpiling of rock is prohibited under the county’s longstanding permit to protect wildlife habitats.

Bower said the work observed in the first months of 2020 “appears to be in violation of the county zoning code and approvals currently in place.”

The documented work includes “the crushing and additional stockpiling of material from multiple locations along the face of the quarry,” according to the letter. The material was then loaded and hauled off-site, the letter said.

The county takes the failure to comply with seasonal restrictions seriously, Bower wrote, particularly since that was part of the notice of violation Garfield County commissioners issued in May 2019. 

“This repetitive disregard of County regulations cannot continue,” Bower wrote.

The Colorado Department of Reclamation and Mining Safety wrote to RMI April 6 asking how the company would resolve the noncompliance issue. DRMS also asked for a “status update of the ongoing litigation between RMR and Garfield County.”

After the notice of violation last year, RMI sued the county for acting capriciously and outside of its jurisdiction. That civil case is still pending in the 9th Judicial District.

RMI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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