RMR resubmits Glenwood Springs quarry expansion proposal to BLM | PostIndependent.com

RMR resubmits Glenwood Springs quarry expansion proposal to BLM

The back of the RMR Quarry located below the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.
Chelsea Self

Rocky Mountain Resources has again submitted a proposed expansion plan to the Bureau of Land Management, restarting a 30-day process to determine whether to begin formal review.

RMR Industrials, Inc., submitted the plan Thursday, and while it’s unclear whether this proposal will go forward, the BLM said it anticipates holding public hearings on the Mid-Continent Quarry expansion in the late spring or summer of 2020.

RMR is seeking approval from the BLM to expand quarry operations from about 21 acres to 320 acres and operate seven days a week year-round, with the aim of removing 5 million tons of rock each year.

RMR has submitted several drafts of the proposed plan of operations. The most recent proposal was returned by the BLM in April as incomplete.

According to an updated BLM fact sheet on the RMR application process, the environmental review cannot begin until a number of baseline studies are completed.

Those include hydrologic, cave/karst and ethnographic studies, biological and cultural surveys.

The BLM also needs to complete a mineral exam to determine what sort of mining laws the quarry should fall under.

Current BLM permits authorize so-called chemical-grade limestone, with specific uses, but other forms of limestone are what the BLM calls “common variety,” and subject to royalties

RMR has been selling limestone boulders and crushed rock for a variety of purposes, and the BLM said it will address those uses through the environmental review process.

Selling materials without a permit is part of the reason Garfield County found RMR out of compliance with its own permit in April.

Unrelated to the expansion proposal, Garfield County commissioners ordered RMR to come under compliance by June 1.

RMR sued the county, arguing that it does not have authority to enforce a permit that conflicts with federal agency guidance.

tphippen@postindependent.com


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