Public Hearing Expected to Draw Hundreds Supporting William B. Umstead State Park
Raleigh, NC - The upcoming public hearing on June 23 for the Wake Stone Corporation Mining Permit application for RDU Quarry has drawn significant attention from the Triangle community. More than twelve hundred public comments have been submitted to NC DEQ’s Division of Energy, Mining, and Land Resources (DEMLR) calling for denial of the permit.
“The community outcry has been impressive and sustained“ said Dr. Jean Spooner, Chair of the Umstead Coalition. “Clearly the public does not want to endure the adverse impacts on Umstead State Park, nor the perpetual liability to the public from the first private rock mine to be placed on public property next to a NC State Park.”
The proposed RDU Quarry would create a new rock mine on the 105 acre, forested Odd Fellows Tract — public land owned by the Cities of Raleigh and Durham and the Counties of Wake and Durham. The new quarry will be over 400 feet deep and adjacent to Umstead State Park, Crabtree Creek, the East Coast Greenway and the popular Old Reedy Creek Road recreational corridor that connects Lake Crabtree County Park to Umstead State Park.
With today being the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, the racial history behind the Reedy Creek Park entrance to Umstead State Park at Harrison Avenue should be recognized and appreciated for its important historical significance to the Black community. Until 1968, the Park was segregated and this was the entrance for one of only two state parks for enjoyment by the Black community. Park users today at this specific entrance to Umstead State Park in Cary — now have to avoid truck conflicts from Wake Stone’s Triangle Quarry that would continue with the new proposed quarry.
Opponents to the quarry are also concerned about significant environmental harm to Umstead State Park and negative public health impacts on recreational users of the Park and the homeowners along Old Reedy Creek Road.
“The Odd Fellows Tract is a forested buffer absorbing pollution from I-40, and protecting Crabtree Creek,” said Liz Adams, Research Associate at the UNC Institute for the Environment. “Drilling, blasting, crushing, and using trucks to haul rocks over Crabtree Creek will create new air pollution (silica dust, NOx) exposures to vulnerable populations including children, elderly, and minorities causing increased risk of premature death for those who use the East Coast Greenway, the Company Mill Trail.
The Sierra Club Capital Group requested an Environmental Justice Snapshot Report for Mining Permit No. 92-10 due to the disproportionate impact that this permit modification will have on minority and vulnerable users of Umstead State Park, including its extensive youth outreach programs.”
The Umstead Coalition and other environmental and recreational organizations are calling for supporters of Umstead State Park and advocates for preserving the land to attend the virtual public hearing on June 23, 2020 at 6 p.m. This is the last chance for the public to speak, please register and attend. Details for the virtual public hearing can be found on the DEQ website.
About The Umstead Coalition
The Umstead Coalition has been working since 1972 to support and protect William B. Umstead State Park through fundraising, sponsorship of volunteer activities, and oversight of environmental and legal protections: https://umsteadcoalition.org/
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Download a PDF of the Press Release here.
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