Proposed quarry causing concerns in Opelika

Proposed quarry causing concerns in Opelika
Dozens of people are speaking out against a proposed quarry in Opelika, citing concerns about air and water quality. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

OPELIKA, Ala. (WSFA) - A quarry that’s being proposed just north of Opelika is causing major concerns for residents and city leaders. The proposed location is on County Road 168, just off U.S. 431, but dozens of people are speaking out against the quarry citing concerns about air and water quality.

CreekWood Resources has applied to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management for air, pollutant discharge elimination and water permits for a proposed granite quarry.

When you have boots on the ground, the area for the proposed quarry looks pretty isolated, but when you look at the area on a map, the site is less than two miles from Saugahatchee Lake, Opelika’s primary source of drinking water. It’s also nearby many schools.

“It’s only about a mile or so from Saugahatchee Lake, so our number one concern is water quality. The secondary concern, which is equally as important is air quality. Morris Avenue Intermediate school is only 1.5 miles southeast of this quarry site,” said Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller.

CreekWood Resources released a statement saying:

“CreekWood Resources will not release any pollutants into the air or surface waters; our operations will not impede groundwater aquifers; and we will not damage any structures in the area. Furthermore, the quarry will create very little additional truck traffic over the current truck traffic, and the existing infrastructure is more than capable of supporting the slight traffic increase.”

Anthony Lackey only lives a few miles from the proposed quarry site, he says that noise, traffic and pollution will all be problems.

“The truck traffic is going to increase tenfold. Of course there’s going to be a lot of noise and there’s going to be a lot of pollution,” Lackey said.

ADEM has called for a public hearing at Opelika Performing Arts Center (OPAC) on March 31 at 6 p.m.

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