The organizations Communities Programs seeks to provide technical assistance on the use of various tools to help the community achieve their goals for growth; to overcome barriers and move toward smarter, more sustainable growth. The organization seeks to attain an increase in the community’s capacity to successfully implement smart growth and sustainable approaches that protect the environment, improve public health, create jobs, expand economic opportunity, and improve overall quality of life.
The organizations works is to build active influential communities based on justice, equality and mutual respect as a first amendment advocate for the betterment of community that aims to influence public policy and resource allocation of decisions within the political, economic, and social systems.
AGGREGATE SURFACE MINING LEGISLATION
As everyone knows our towns and cities would not exist in their present state if these materials had not been available. There is a basic conflict between the need for an adequate supply of essential construction aggregates, and the desire of by our organization and many residents of the community that no extractive industry be established. Since there has never been a denial of any Surface Mining Special Exception then the most moderate and equitable solution of the problem would seem to be stricter control of the sitting, operation and rehabilitation of pit and quarry sites, and a fostering of the growing desire among the aggregate producers to improve their public image.
Citizens have the right to engage their government to enforce legislation that protects their communities, the land, and the environment from adverse impacts of surface mining. In order for citizens to exercise that right effectively, they need to have a clear understanding of the industry and the available tools to enforce the laws.
The BTB Coalition plans to keep pressure on our public officials to protect citizens and their communities and ensure sure that public officials are accountable for their actions and/or the lack of.
The fact is in certain high aggregate production areas, where insufficient regard hs not been given to the environment in the past serious problems have occurred and in rural communities.
The process of aggregate extraction results in impacts on the natural environment and on associated wildlife so the industry is the subject of comprehensive policies and legislative guidance. Prince George’s County needs an Aggregate Resources Act (ARA), which outlines the following purposes and a Best Practice Guidelines for Aggregate Rehabilitation Projects:
1. That provide for the management of the aggregate resources;
2. That control and regulate aggregate operations;
3. That require the rehabilitation of land from which aggregate has been excavated; and
4. That minimizes the adverse impact on the environment in respect of current aggregate operations
BRANDYWINEWe have since 2002 ask that environmental concerns be addressed by the Council in these specific Aggregate Special Exceptions that allow this use in our residential areas for a total of current approximately 2,360+/- acres, to operate consecutively, thus this does not include the already being mined acres of Gudelsky Materials located in Brandywine, MD at 14750 Gibbons Church Road.
In addition over 3,800+ acres have been mined and not properly reclaimed, leaving the land destitute and uninhabitable.
The concerns of the community are as follows;
1. Drawdown of aquifer water and
2. Heavy dump truck traffic on rural roads,
4. Dust, exhaust
5. Loss of Residential Water.
6. Air Pollution. Dust from mining, exhaust from dump trucks and heavy mining machinery.
7. Health risk
9. Extended pollution as dust settles in region, on land and in water
10. Destruction of Nearby Recreational Waterways & Natural Environment.
11. Very significant portions of the Mattawoman Creek run through this property. It cannot be mined without doing extreme damage to the Mattawoman
12. Mining destroys all plant life on the property, harms or kills animals, including fish.
13. Increased threats to species dependent on these habitats for food and homes
14. Without root systems to help catch it, there is constant runoff of chemicals and silt into waterways where people fish, splash, kayak, etc.
15. Loss of habitat for lots of ground animals and birds.
16. More deer in our roads (very dangerous) and gardens
17. More raccoons, opossums, and foxes in our yards and trash
18. More mice and snakes looking for new homes
19. Birds forced elsewhere to find homes (loss of source of beauty and joy to many)
Wastewater must go somewhere. Where will it end up? Wastewater ponds are poorly regulated, present pollution problems of their own, and cannot collect all wastewater.
For this reason it is imperative that we look into the issue of why these aggregate operations are not required to capture, treat and recycle the water they use and forbidden from using portable water consistently pulling and drawing from local aquifers or water from surface creeks and streams. This would also be the best proceeding in keeping with the current Federal administration’s impetus for sustainable resources usage and would open doors to possible Federal stimulus funding or grant monies.
MINING “SPECIAL EXCEPTIONS1. SE_4402/4403 Aggregate Industries 1st special exception of 684.5 Acres, with a wash plant.
2. SE_4651 Aggregate Industries has applied for the 2nd special exception. This project is at Accokeek Road Surface Mining, & is on 683 acres S. of Accokeek Rd., W. of McKendree Rd., NE of Garner Rd.
3. SE_4647 Aggregate Industries has applied for the 3rd 2nd Special Exception for sand and gravel mining for which this property consists of 607.9 acres and is located in the R-R Zone. This property address is 6705 Accokeek Road, Brandywine, Maryland 20613. The property is located south of Accokeek Road, west of U.S Route 301 and north and east of McKendree Road. It is comprised of Parcels 87, 189, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, & 81. The property consists of 607.9 acres and is located in the R-R Zone.
4. SE_4700 Aggregate Industries has applied renewal of the 4th - QUEENS PROPERTY, 81.89 of Residential-Agricultural Lands.
5. SE_4669 Chaney Enterprises has applied for their 2nd Special Exception in Prince George’s County for sand & gravel mining on 175 acres 15851 McKendree Rd Brandywine, MD 20613 on land known as the Robin Dale Golf Club. (Tax Map 164, Grid C-1.) Currently zoned R-A (1 house per 2 acres), in the Rural Tier; ) in the Rural Tier which has wells & septic system usage. Very significant portions of Mattawoman Creek run through this property.
6. Gudelsky Materials was established in 1994 and grandfathered in so that they do not have to adhere to current rules and regulation being that do not have to reapply for there mining special exception.
SE-4646 Gudelsky Materials has applied for their 2nd Special Exception in Prince George’s County for sand and gravel mining on 22 acres on Brandywine Rd. It has road frontage on Evergreen Way. (Tax Map 156, Grid D-2.) Currently zoned O-S (1 house per 5 acres), also in the Rural Tier, also should also be using wells & septic systems.
7. SE-4556 Bevard/Bardon Group, Inc., has applied for their 2nd Special Exception in Prince George’s County for sand and gravel mining on 103.8 acres on SW side of Brandywine Road, at the inter/W Gibbons Church Road.
These Aggregate companies need to be held to a high standard; and we need to demand Hydrologists from an outside independent source that can provide a non-bias opinion to examine the physical characteristics, distribution, and circulation of water above and below the earth's surface, and not leave it up to what maybe non-bias reports and examinations by the Applicants. To also study rainfall and other precipitation, the paths precipitation takes through the soil and rocks underground, and its return to the oceans and air. I’m concerned about the dust, if it can seep down to the aquifer. Prince George’s County needs to do the same as the government and private industry and use this information about water properties and movement patterns for a variety of purposes but specifically related to mining in one area.
We ask that you support our efforts by signing our petition as a request that concerns be addressed by our government legislature.