We are disappointed at the Appeals Court decision released December 15, 2020, upholding the lower court’s ruling that RDUAA was allowed to enter into a mining lease with Wake Stone Corporation, for the forested Oddfellows Tract. We are evaluating our appeal before the State Supreme Court.
We disagree; we think that the RDUAA exceeded their authority. We believe RDUAA should have sought concurrence from their four local government owners prior to selling property for a quarry unrelated to airport operations, destroying dwindling old growth forests on public lands, creating a perpetual public liability for the 400’+ deep pit once the resources have been exhausted, and more.
This ruling in no way affects other efforts to preserve the site for recreation that has been on NC Park’s acquisition plan for years, based on Wake Stone’s promise to cease all mining by 2031. Wake Stone agreed to this provision to overcome denial of their original permit for the quarry on land they own on the other side of Crabtree Creek; however, they recently convinced DEQ staff to renege on this 37 year commitment to change one word in the Sunset Clause rendering it useless. We content that was an invalid permit change for the existing quarry on the other side of Crabtree Creek.
In a key part of the December 15, 2020 Appeals Court ruling, the Appeals Court ruled in our favor, confirmed that the adjacent residents have standing, and would be harmed by the proposed new quarry pit. This in itself is grounds for the NC Department of Quality (DEQ) to deny the Mining Permit.
Wake Stone has so far not obtained approval for their mining permit (we believe it should be denied), RDUAA was denied an application to install over 8 miles of high security fencing, and The Umstead Coalition is appealing DEQ’s Neuse Buffer permit to build a bridge across Crabtree Creek wide enough for a 5 lane road. YES, 66 feet wide bridge across Crabtree Creek as wide as I-40 just upstream of William B. Umstead State Park! We expect our appeal to be heard in January.
Approximately 2,000 public comments have been received by DEQ opposing the Mining Permit. Strong evidence has been presented that the proposed new quarry would harm William B. Umstead State Park, the Old Reedy Creek Recreational corridor, private homes, wildlife habitat, water quality and air quality. All solid grounds for permit DENIAL.
Unbelievably, RDUAA has reapplied for their fence Neuse River Buffer permit! And again proposed to sever the popular Reedy Creek Multi-use in William B. Umstead!! The Umstead Coalition has recommended denial due failure to justify the impacts to the streams and wetlands.
Thanks to all who are continuing to let DEQ and your local officials know that the public is OPPOSED to the proposed new mining pit on the Odd Fellows Tract. The good fight continues.
The Umstead Coalition is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
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