Written by Jason deBruyn, WUNC
A group of Umstead Park supporters on Friday cheered a decision by the Department of Environmental Quality to deny a quarry permit application by Wake Stone that would have expanded the company's operation at a site near the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
"It was the right decision," said Jean Spooner, chairwoman of the Umstead Coalition board of directors, which has vocally opposed the quarry's expansion. "The current quarry has exhibited substantial adverse impacts on the park in the years it's existed there."
Still, the ruling likely doesn't write the last chapter of this more than six-years-long saga as Wake Stone has already signaled an intent to appeal the ruling.
Leading up to the ruling, the DEQ Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources held two public hearings and considered thousands of comments from public stakeholders. It denied the application because it ruled that a new quarry would negatively impact the park.
"The proposed quarry is located and designed such that normal operation would have significantly adverse effects on the purposes of the park through noise, visual, and traffic impacts," according to the ruling.
Wake Stone has operated a quarry on property it owns alongside Interstate 40 just northwest of the Harrison Road exit. It wants to expand quarry operations to property generally referred to as the "Oddfellows" site owned jointly by Wake and Durham counties and by Raleigh and Durham and overseen by the Raleigh-Durham AirportAuthority, which agreed to lease the land to Wake Stone for the quarry expansion.
The Umstead Coalition has opposed the expansion citing environmental concerns, as well as, negative quality of life impacts on park-goers.
The Umstead Coalition is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
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