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The Umstead Coalition 
Celebrating Umstead State Park since 1934!

News

  • 06/24/2020 12:06 PM | Anonymous

    Raleigh, NC - Jun 24, 2020

    The Division of Energy, Mineral, and Land Resources (DEMLR) will continue the digital public hearing on a permit modification for Wake Stone Corporation on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 to accommodate pre-registered speakers.

    Since the number of registered speakers exceeded the allotted time during the June 23 public hearing, the Division Director determined it necessary to hold a second day of the digital public hearing to receive comments on the application. Based on current guidance to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health, members of the public can participate online or listen via telephone.

    The public is invited to participate online or listen by phone. Only previously registered speakers will have the opportunity to speak.  

    https://deq.nc.gov/news/press-releases/2020/06/24/wake-stone-public-hearing-continuation

    WHEN: Tuesday, July 7, 2020, 9:00 a.m.

    ONLINE: Cisco WebEx Link:

    https://ncdenrits.webex.com/ncdenrits/onstage/g.php?MTID=e4a6e16eae923801b8719666028816856

    Meeting Number (Access Code): 617 499 551

    Meeting Password: DEQ123

    PHONE: (415) 655-0003        

    Access code: 161 004 6542  

    To submit 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

    The proceedings will remain open for a period of ten days following the hearing for additional written arguments or statements ending on Friday, July 17, 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.

    ######

  • 06/23/2020 8:30 PM | Anonymous

    "As DEMLR prepares to hold a public hearing on the fate of a forested area neighboring William B. Umstead State Park this evening, Senator Wiley Nickel calls on DEMLR to prevent disastrous environmental destruction, public health concerns, and detrimental local economic impact."


  • 06/23/2020 7:34 PM | Anonymous

    "Be it resolved that the Morrisville Town Council hereby requests the NC Department of Environmental Quality to deny the permit for Wake Stone Corporation's mining permit modification application if determined to have a significantly adverse effect on air, surface water or ground water quality and based on the potential negative impacts on the environment and quality of life in the surrounding area due the town's proximate location to Umstead State Park and Lake Crabtree County Park."


    Download a PDF of the resolution

  • 06/22/2020 5:10 PM | Anonymous

    Letter from Wake Open Space and Parks Advisory Committee to the Wake County Board of Commissioners on June, 22, 2020.


    Download a PDF of the letter here.

  • 06/19/2020 5:02 PM | Anonymous

    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/

    ####  END ###

    Download a PDF of the Press Release here.

  • 06/09/2020 4:29 PM | Anonymous

    View the recording of our live podcast and video interview with The Triangle Talk Show.


    We’re excited to announce we’ll be doing a live podcast and video interview on The Triangle Talk Show today, June 9 at 7 p.m. ET. It will be an action-packed conversation! We'll be talking 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

    WATCH ON YOUTUBE    WATCH ON FACEBOOK

    About The Triangle Talk Show

    The Triangle Talk Show is an audio podcast, available on most podcast apps, including Tune-In and Spotify. The recording, show notes and links will be available at TriangleTalkShow.com.

  • 06/01/2020 4:22 PM | Anonymous

    Thank you for submitting public comments to DEQ and local elected officials voicing your opposition to RDU Quarry. We appreciate your support!

    The Public Hearing for RDU Quarry will be held virtually on June 23, 2020 at 6 p.m. EDT.  Get login details here.

    We're seeking people to speak against the quarry. Public comments are limited to two minutes. Don't worry if you don't know what to say or even like public speaking — we'll help you with talking points.

    If you're interested in speaking, you must register in advance. Once you register, reply to this email or email us at info@umsteadcoalition.org to let us know and we'll be in touch. 

    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.

    Read the NCDEQ Press Release about the Public Hearing below:

    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.

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

    Participants can join the meeting starting at 5:45 PM

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

    ONLINE

    Cisco WebEx Link

    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.

    *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 here.

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

  • 05/13/2020 1:38 PM | Anonymous

    Written by Lisa Sorg, NC Policy Watch

    Company proposing controversial Wake quarry wants to build truck bridge over polluted creek; environmental advocates seek a public hearing

    Wake Stone, the company behind a controversial quarry expansion next to Umstead State Park, has significantly changed its mining permit application to include a bridge over Crabtree Creek, a troubled tributary of the Neuse River.

    The plan was included in a modified application that Wake Stone submitted to the NC Department of Environmental Quality on April 8.

    According to the company, the bridge would be built over a portion of the creek that lies within the proposed new mining boundary. It would be used to truck “overburden” — clear-cut trees, soil and other unusable material — from the existing Wake Stone operation to a storage pit at the proposed mine, which has yet to be permitted. 

    In its application to DEQ’s Division of Energy, Mining and Land Resources (DEMLR), the company claims bridge construction and other mining activities won’t harm the creek “for the foreseeable future.”

    The proposed 106-acre mine would be 300 feet deep and located on a parcel known as the Oddfellows Tract. Although technically Wake and Durham counties and Raleigh and Durham own the land, the Airport Authority manages it. In turn, the authority  leased the land to Wake Stone, a move that opponents have challenged in court, albeit so far unsuccessfully. 

    Counting roads and office buildings, a total of more than 225 acres, including 59 acres of trees, would be affected by the mine’s expansion.

    Continue reading the full article on NC Policy Watch.

  • 04/29/2020 7:11 PM | Anonymous

    Senator Nickel pledges to stand with local activists calling for a delay in granting Wake Stone Corporation a controversial mining permit for land neighboring William B. Umstead State Park until a public hearing can be held.

    RALEIGH, NC – Senator Wiley Nickel, State Senator for the 16th Senate District (Cary, Morrisville & NW Raleigh), expresses concerns regarding Wake Stone Corporation’s application for a mining permit modification request, saying:

    “Public hearings are an imperative part of permitting procedures. They allow the public a chance to react to plans for new development and raise awareness of potentially disastrous environmental or social impacts. On April 8, in the midst of an international public health crisis,

    Wake Stone Corporation filed a mining permit modification request with the state Division of Energy, Minerals, and Land Resources (DEMLR). The Corporation’s target: a controversial forested area neighboring William B. Umstead State Park. If construction moves forward, this pristine forest would be transformed into the first private rock quarry on public land in North Carolina.

    Local activists and organizations have been fighting to prevent this polluting pit for years.

    Quarry opponents, ranging from local residents to environmental activists and mountain bikers,

    have expressed grave concerns regarding potential environmental, economic, and public health impacts should quarrying efforts proceed as planned. These concerns deserve to be considered in a public forum.

    I respectfully urge DEMLR to delay consideration of the mining permit until a safe, in-person public hearing can be held. The COVID-19 pandemic should not be used as a backdoor for corporations to destroy North Carolina’s natural wonders.”

    ###

  • 02/11/2020 8:47 AM | Anonymous

    Please attend this workshop at RDU on Thursday, February 13 from 5pm - 8pm to ask questions, provide feedback and help influence RDU's first Sustainability Management Plan. 

    The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority works with community leaders to grow responsibly, with respect for our natural resources and a desire to deliver a world-class airport experience. We have been diligent in environmental stewardship, often exceeding regulatory requirements. As our region thrives, we remain committed to responsible, sustainable growth that positively contributes to all aspects of our dynamic community — environmentally, socially and fiscally.

    The Authority is developing RDU’s first Sustainability Management Plan (SMP) to improve the tracking and communication of the airport’s sustainability initiatives, increase efficiency, and better incorporate economic savings and environmental stewardship into project planning. The SMP will provide a road map for the integration of environmental sustainability into its planning, construction, maintenance, operations and design processes. RDU is engaging stakeholders throughout the process, identifying focus areas and conducting a baseline study to include energy usage; waste management and recycling; emissions inventory; water consumption; and community engagement, among others. The baseline will be used to develop sustainability goals for the airport.

    The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority will hold a public workshop on the Sustainability Management Plan on February 13th from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. The workshop will be held in Room 100 of RDU Center at 1000 Trade Drive, RDU Airport, NC 27623. The Sustainability Management Plan process and the results of a baseline assessment will be discussed during the drop-in workshop. For questions about accessibility contact 919-840-7700, and if possible, make requests at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled workshop. 

    Learn more

The Umstead Coalition

We are dedicated to preserving the natural integrity of William B. Umstead State Park and the Richland Creek Corridor.

WHO WE ARE

The Umstead Coalition is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.