Glenwood Springs quarry owners set to resubmit expansion proposal
RMR Aggregates is expected to resubmit a proposal to expand the Mid-Continent Quarry near Glenwood Springs to the Bureau of Land Management Thursday, according to company representatives.
The basics of the plan remain the same, but RMR included additional detail and clarification as requested by the BLM when it returned the previous plan of operations modification proposal as incomplete in December.
The BLM will review the new submission in the same way.
“We have 30 days to review and determine if it’s complete, BLM spokesman David Boyd said.
BLM staff will evaluate the completeness based on regulations, Boyd said, and look at whether the proposal “has all the information we need to begin our environmental review.”
The mining plan is largely the same as in the earlier proposal.
RMR’s proposal for the controversial plan, which has been met with intense public opposition, would expand the active quarry area from its current size of around 20 acres to 320 acres. The plan aims to remove five million tons of rock each year.
RMR seeks to sell both chemical grade limestone and lower-quality dolomitic limestone, often used for construction and road base.
The quarry would operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with blasting happening between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., crushing, hauling and processing from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and a midnight maintenance and security shift from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
The rock would be transported to the base of the quarry by conveyor belts elevated at least 10 feet from the ground, and painted to blend in with the hillside, according to the proposal.
The extracted material would then be hauled out via the Transfer Trail to the Union Pacific rail depot along Devereux Road. RMR anticipates between 400 and 500 round trips per day
RMR plans to make certain improvements, like paving the first 1,500 feet of Transfer Trail to reduce dust, maintaining the road year round and expanding some switchbacks to improve accessibility.
The timeline for BLM’s approval process for the expansion is unclear.
“We’re still looking at the schedule for when we would have public opportunities” as part of the NEPA review the project, Boyd said.
The BLM has not determined whether the finalized proposal will go through an Environmental Assessment or the more thorough Environmental Impact Statement process.
Regardless of the type of review the proposal will undergo, “there will definitely be several well-advertised opportunities for public involvement,” Boyd said.
If the BLM approves the expanded operations plan, RMR would also need permits from the Colorado Department of Reclamation and Mining Safety and approval from Garfield County.
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