Any aggregate operation creates negative impacts; to residents, to the municipality, and to the environment. Each individual should attempt to assess what these impacts will be and how acceptable (or unacceptable) they will be to you, your neighbors and your community.
Many of these areas have very serious consequences that must be balanced against the need and value of the proposed gravel and sand (aka aggregate).
How will the proposed operation change the noise levels, based on the proposed noise generation and its proximity to neighboring “sensitive receptors” (i.e. residential properties, schools, hospitals, etc.)? How objectionable will this change be?
What are the current sight lines into the proposed site? How will the views change once berms are constructed? How will they change once the pit is exhausted and the berms are removed?
What do the studies and reports say about measures to mitigate (reduce) dust? Have they prepared models of dust and air quality? Are the models based on local conditions or on hypothetical scenarios drawn from some other location?
Do the traffic projections seem reasonable? Do they take into account “worst case scenarios – for example, reports often assume total traffic will be split 50/50 in two directions but, in reality, truck often travels 100% in one direction during one contract and 100% in the other direction during another contract? Are the background (existing) traffic counts based on current studies, or has traffic changed since those studies were done?
How close is extraction to local wells? How close to the water table does the proponent plan to extract (or do they propose to extract into the water table)? From the hydrogeological reports, is the groundwater currently flowing towards or away from local wells? Which way will it flow during and after extraction?
How many homes are in close proximity – say 3,000 feet or 3/4 mile – to the proposed operation? What are the values of those homes? Given the impacts noted above, what will be the possible total impact to property values caused by this operation?
How will this aggregate mining operation impact these sensitive and critical ecological systems?
Does this sand and gravel mining operation enhance the area? How does it fit with the surrounding land uses? Will this operation alter how I enjoy and recreate in the Irish Hills?
Citizens Protect Irish Hills is a non-profit, entirely volunteer organization focused on the impact of proposed aggregate (sand and gravel) mining activity in Cambridge Township, MI. Your donation helps our efforts to oppose the gravel pit go that much farther! Thank you for your generosity!
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