UPCOMING EVENTS


Forested recreation in the heart of the Triangle 

RDU Quarry & RDU Fence Updates

Trying to keep up with everything and just want the current status? You've come to the right place. 

  • NC Division of Parks and Recreation (NC State Parks) asks for RDU Quarry Wake Stone Mining Permit Application to be Denied. Read now>>
  • The Umstead Coalition and the Sierra Club Capital Group issued a joint Resolution about the proposed quarry. Read now>>
  • Request Governor Cooper to reinstate the Sunset Clause. Learn more and submit your comments now>>
  • Help our cause. Donate via our website, GoFundMe or support us through our new online store.

  • 06/23/2020 4:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thank you to the 550 people who completed our survey! We had great representation from all over the Triangle ⁠— we'll release more results in the coming weeks.


    We created this image based on comments submitted.


  • 06/20/2020 9:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Written by Liz Adams, Research Associate at the UNC Institute for the Environment

    The Cross Triangle Greenway ride now has a “bypass route” that avoids Umstead State Park. Was the route changed to avoid exposing cyclists to the the barbed wire fencing, dust, diesel emissions and blasting impacts of the new Wake Stone Quarry Pit #2? The bypass route is not on a protected greenway, it is on Dynasty, Electra and Trenton Drives through neighborhood streets. Bicyclists will need to navigate stoplights, parked cars, and conflicts with automobile traffic.

    2019 Invitation to Ride: “Celebrate the East Coast Greenway’s most complete metropolitan stretch with our Cross-Triangle Greenway Ride! Enjoy a scenic, recreational ride from Durham through Cary to Raleigh, North Carolina — all on protected greenways. 40-mile and 25-mile options are available for cyclists of all ability levels. The 40-mile option starts at 9 a.m. at SouthPoint Crossing Trailhead and the 25-mile option starts at 11 a.m. at Bond Park.”

    The East Coast Greenway connects 15 states, 450 cities and towns, and 3,000 miles of people-powered trails from Maine to Florida — the country’s longest biking and walking route.

    Continue reading on Medium.com

  • 06/18/2020 5:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In order to preserve William B. Umstead State Park and continue to provide you with a high quality recreational experience, we are conducting a survey of trail users. Your cooperation in completing this survey will be greatly appreciated. 

    TAKE THE SURVEY NOW


  • 06/10/2020 4:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In case you missed it! The recording of our podcast and video interview with The Triangle Talk Show is now available. 

    We talked about:

    • The RDU Quarry Public Hearing on June 23 — this may be one of the last public comment opportunities to stop the quarry
    • The Sunset Clause that was removed from the current Wake Stone mining permit, which would've closed the existing Triangle Quarry in 2031
    • The Conservation Fund's offer to purchase the land to add new single-track biking and pedestrian trails
    • Environmental and wildlife impacts including air and water quality degradation
    • The RDU Fence that will cross Halley's Branch and run along the East Coast Greenway and Umstead State Park's multi-use trail
    • How this quarry is more than just a local Triangle issue, but one that affects all of North Carolina and sets a new precedent for how public lands are handled in the state

    Speakers

    • Jean Spooner: Chair, The Umstead Coalition
    • Gil Johnson: Board member, The Umstead Coalition
    • David Anderson: Board member, Triangle Off-Road Cyclists (TORC)
    • Liz Adams: Former vice-chair, Capital Group Sierra Club and Research Associate at the UNC Institute for the Environment
  • 06/09/2020 5:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Written by Liz Adams, Research Associate at the UNC Institute for the Environment

    The development of a quarry on public land by RDU Airport Authority is more than a local issue, there are state and federal policies and regulations that constrain how this public-purpose land may be developed.

    The East Coast Greenway bisects the public land that is managed by the airport, and is a 3,000-mile spine route, from Key West north to the Canadian border in Maine.

    RDU Airport Authority did not consult with the local governments who own the land, nor the neighboring municipalities of Cary and Morrisville, the State Park System, NC-DOT (owner of this segment of the East Coast Greenway), or FAA prior to signing the lease for the quarry.

    In their effort to “secure this public-purpose land”, RDU Airport Authority also designed and applied for permits to build a 2 million dollar (18 mile long, 8 ft tall barbed wire) fence that would cut-off access to Umstead State Park for users of this trail. RDU Airport Authority stated the purpose of the fence was to “Protect Wake Stone” from vandalism and “environmental damage” from off-road cyclists. They falsely represented the true purpose of the fence, which was to accelerate the development of the quarry on the Odd Fellows Tract.

    The East Coast Greenway runs from Maine to Florida, but it relies on local governments to ensure that adjacent land uses are compatible with the trail.

    RDU Airport Authority is a municipal corporation that has zoning and eminent domain power equivalent to cities. Yet, they have established no zoning board of adjustment, special use or public hearing policies.

    Where is RDU Airport Authority’s policy on multi-jurisdictional planning to ensure compatibility of the quarry with the municipalities that border their jurisdiction? Wake County has both a Comprehensive Plan and an Umstead Planning District that the quarry is incompatible with. Isn’t joint planning a requirement that must be followed by all municipal corporations (towns, cities, counties, and municipal corporations) including the RDU Airport Authority? The Towns of Cary and Morrisville have plans for high density development in the headwaters of Crabtree Creek that make this expansion of the quarry especially problematic.

    Five thousand people per day have been reported using the Umstead State Park Trail System during the COVID-19 pandemic. More and more people will be moving into this area to live in the high-density multi-family apartments that are in the current development pipeline.

    We need effective joint cross-jurisdictional urban planning to protect the East Coast Greenway and provide safe entryways into Umstead State Park. RDU Airport Authority must preserve access to recreational uses of public land that was taken for a public purpose. Doing so will promote the health and welfare of our citizens who rely on safe access to Umstead State Park and the recreational corridor that surrounds it.

    Density of Apartments in 2018. High Density Development is increasing near entrances to Umstead https://www.socialexplorer.com/c03106fdcc/view

    Continue reading on Medium.com

  • 06/06/2020 5:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This blog post was submitted by Hwa Huang. Though he is a long-time member of the local Sierra Club Chapter and is actively working with the Umstead Coalition, the comments below are solely his, and not those of the Sierra Club or the Umstead Coalition.

    Now is your chance to help save Umstead Park from a private quarry on public lands.

    By now you must have heard about Wake Stone’s proposed quarry next to the Umstead State Park.

    Despite the many overwhelming problems facing the city and nation today – the pandemic and the righteous protests against police violence among them – Wake Stone continues to keep pushing forward with their desire to have their quarry next to the state park. Frustrating as it is to have to spend time on this issue with so many others raging, Wake Stone remains relentless.  Once again, this highlights Wake Stone’s lack of care for public well-being as they attempt to avoid public scrutiny.

    We want them to know that we are still watching, but we still need your help, now more than ever! There are so many reasons why the proposed quarry will be awful for the state park because of the following impacts (but not limited to them):

    • Polluted water, wetlands, and Neuse River Buffer
    • Wake Stone is trying to avoid getting new industrial stormwater and air quality permits, incorrectly claiming they will not have new sources from their new proposed quarry
    • Blasting noise and vibration in Umstead Park and nearby homes
    • Impaired air quality, dust and non-road truck emissions
    • Reduced safety at Umstead Park entrance to park due to conflicts with mining and logging trucks
    • Inadequate reclamation plan concerning post-mining uses, especially in areas closest to the park

    Here is how you can help us:

    1. Take a minute to take this survey, so that we can establish important data for the DEQ to understand just who they will be affecting if this quarry is to take place: https://forms.gle/tsk3HvZPxbPT2YpC6
    2. Take 10 seconds to register to speak at the public hearing on June 23, 2020, 6 PM. You should expect to have 2 minutes to talk about why the DEQ must reject Wake Stone’s permit application: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=3IF2etC5mkSFw-zCbNftGeTQwlSeD1RIhOMcQI6ad6VUQjVROFJNNE9BMVlJM0I0RjdEVUtWUzRSQi4u&fbclid=IwAR0bKViHIqh4R8fTYTdCEdX53OqMDphrzq_-zzmyylECSKdWH7mLkIgVoTI  Please register before noon on June 23 – the sooner, the better.

    Do not worry about coming up with a script. Email info@umsteadcoalition.org to let the Umstead Coalition know you’ve signed up to speak, and they will reach out to you before the hearing date to work with you on what you will be saying on the big day.

    This is likely the LAST chance for public comments to stop the quarry. The public will have little opportunity to comment if this permit is granted. State law gives mines and quarries “life of site” permits, meaning that in most cases, they are automatically renewed – without further public comment.1

    [The Umstead Coalition’s lawsuit against the RDUAA “lease” with Wake Stone is still in the courts. Which means it’s in the hands of the lawyers and is NOT subject to any public comment.]

    Continue reading on Livable Raleigh

  • 06/06/2020 5:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Written by Liz Adams, Research Associate at the UNC Institute for the Environment

    RDU Airport Authority justified not selling the Odd Fellows Tract to the Conservation Fund by claiming it would create an ‘Incompatible Use’ and violate ‘ Federal Grant Assurances’. Rather than allow the land to be purchased and added to Umstead State Park, they decided to destroy the land.

    https://www.rdu.com/lease-vs-sale-what-property-means-for-rdu/

    “We Must Comply with Federal Regulations

    RDU and our owning bodies — the counties of Wake and Durham, and the cities of Raleigh and Durham — are required to prevent the creation of incompatible land uses to remain in compliance with federal grant assurances. This means that if RDU was to sell land that became a park, school, or residential dwelling, the Authority would violate those federal requirements.

    A Sale is Forever

    A sale is forever — once land is sold, it is near impossible to recapture. The Authority cannot predict all the future needs of RDU or how it will need property to accommodate these future needs. The only way we can maintain flexibility to meet future needs is by keeping ownership and control of the surrounding land so that your airport experience can remain exceptional for years to come.”

    The lease of the Odd Fellows Tract to Wake Stone for an 105 acre, 400 foot deep open pit quarry mine DOES NOT provide the airport with control of the land in case it is needed for future airport needs.

    Leasing the land to Wake Stone for an INCOMPATIBLE USE of an open pit mine does NOT comply with federal grant assurances.

    A 35 year lease to Wake Stone for a quarry will make the land unusable for any public purpose, including expanding an airport runway - FOREVER.

    RDU Airport Authority entered into a long term lease agreement which is effectively a SALE.

    RDU Airport Authority cannot sell any of the land on which the Airport is located, if held in the names of the cities and counties, without the unanimous consent of the Cities of Raleigh and Durham, Wake County and Durham County, which own the land along with the Authority. (1) It can, however, purchase land in its own name and can exercise the power of eminent domain to condemn privately held land and make it property of the Authority.

    G.S. 160A-272 establishes the procedures most local governments must use when leasing government-owned property. While leases of government-owned property typically involve real property, the statute also applies to personal property. The procedural requirements vary depending on the length of the lease, and can be divided into three categories:

    1. Leases for a term of one year or less: The governing board may approve the lease without any public notice, and may delegate approval authority to the manager.
    2. Leases for a term between one and 10 years: The lease must be approved by resolution adopted by the governing board at a regular meeting after public notice. The notice must be given by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the jurisdiction and must describe the property to be leased, state the annual lease payments, and announce the board’s intent to authorize the lease at its next regular meeting (notice by electronic means is not authorized).
    3. Leases for a term longer than 10 years: The lease must be treated as a sale, and the local government must follow one of the methods authorized for the sale of government property under Article 12 of G.S. Chapter 160A.

    This land was purchased by RDU Airport Authority for a public purpose using federal grant funds back the 1970s. RDU Airport Authority testified before the US Senate on Sept. 9, 1975 asking for additional federal funds with the following justification (2)

    Continue reading on Medium.com

  • 06/01/2020 3:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By  State Law, the NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) can deny a mining permit for any of the five following reasons:

    1. Adverse effect on the purposes of a publicly owned park, forest or recreation area
    2. Adverse effects on potable groundwater supplies, wildlife or fresh water
    3. Violating standards of air quality, surface water quality, or groundwater quality
    4. Hazard to public health and safety
    5. Hazard to a neighboring dwelling house, school, church, commercial or industrial building, public road or other public property
    Local public officials have the power to stop the quarry and the fence. We have provided some sample emails/letters here.

    You can email or mail your letters to the elected officials asking for the 50-year Sunset Clause to be reinstated and to deny the new mining permit for the Odd Fellows Tract.

    NC Office of the Governor

    20301 Mail Service Center

    Raleigh, NC 27699-0301

    When writing comments to DEQ, it's essential for your comments to directly relate to one or more of these five reasons for denial.

  • 05/22/2020 9:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Energy, Mineral, and Land Resources (DEMLR) is seeking community feedback on Wake Stone Corporation’s application for modification to Permit 92-10.  Based on current guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and limits on size of public gatherings under Phase 2, the public hearing on this application will be held digitally on June 23, 2020.

    The public is invited to participate online or listen by phone. Speakers will be asked to register in advance.

    https://deq.nc.gov/news/press-releases/2020/05/22/public-hearing-wake-stone-quarry-application-modification-update

    WHEN: Tuesday, June 23, 2020, 6:00 PM

    Participants can join the meeting starting at 5:45 PM

    ONLINE: Cisco WebEx Link:

    https://ncdenrits.webex.com/ncdenrits/onstage/g.php?MTID=ea3a0d70507b450041459a2a5d8276118

    Meeting Number (Access Code): 617 499 551

    Meeting Password: DEQ123

    PHONE:

    Cisco WebEx by Phone: +1 415 655 0003 US TOLL 

    Meeting number (access code): 617 449 551

    *If you wish to speak at the digital public hearing, you must register, provide the required information, and follow instructions on ways to join the public hearing. Registration must be completed by 12:00 PM on June 23, 2020. To register, please click the following link:

    https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=3IF2etC5mkSFw-zCbNftGeTQwlSeD1RIhOMcQI6ad6VUQjVROFJNNE9BMVlJM0I0RjdEVUtWUzRSQi4u

    *If you have technical difficulties, an automated voicemail will be set up from June 23 to July 3 to receive your verbal comments: 919-707-9209 (Please state your name before commenting.)

    To submit a public comment or obtain additional information concerning the hearing, email ncminingprogram@ncdenr.gov or write:

    Judy Wehner

    Assistant State Mining Specialist

    Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources

    1612 Mail Service Center

    Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-1612

    Telephone: (919) 707-9220

    The proceedings will remain open for a period of ten (10) days following the hearing for additional written arguments or statements ending on Friday, July 03, 2020.

    DEQ will consider all public comments and other available information about the permit application before deciding whether to issue the final permit, deny the permit or issue it with amended conditions.

    The application, public notice, and proposed mine maps can be found at https: https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/energy-mineral-land-resources/energy-mineral-land-permits/mining-program.

    https://deq.nc.gov/news/press-releases/2020/05/22/public-hearing-wake-stone-quarry-application-modification-update

    ######

  • 05/14/2020 1:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    RALEIGH – Based on significant public interest, the Division of Energy, Mineral, and Land Resources (DEMLR) plans to hold a public hearing on the Wake Stone Corporation, Triangle Quarry application, to modify permit number 92-10.   Wake Stone Corporation has applied to expand its quarrying operations by developing 106 acres of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority's Odd Fellows tract.    

    Given the guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19, DEMLR is evaluating the most appropriate options to safely allow public participation and will announce details of the hearing as soon as they are available.

    In accordance with The Mining Act of 1971 § 74-51(c), the public hearing must be held by July 7.

    Written comments may be submitted to N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, Attn: Judy Wehner 1612 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C., 27699-1612 or by email to ncminingprogram@ncdenr.gov.

    All comments received will be considered in the final permit decision on this application. 

    Wake Stone Corporation's application and related documents can be found here.

    ###

WHO WE ARE

We are a coalition of residents, organizations, businesses, and entrepreneurs working towards preserving Lake Crabtree County Park, protecting Umstead State Park, and preserving the forested corridor that connects them.