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Operator wants to fill Wrightstown quarry


Bucks County-based Eureka Stone Quarry is seeking state permission to fill one of its quarries in Wrightstown with “clean fill” once it concludes mining the site on Swamp Road.

Professionals for Eureka appeared before the Wrightstown Board of Supervisors Monday (June 17) to discuss the plan.

Jim Furey, environmental safety director for Eureka, and Stephen Harris, the attorney representing the operation, said the quarry in question is called Rush Valley 2 and is located near the Davis Feed Mill.

Eureka aims to win approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection within the next few months to proceed with a reclamation plan that would begin with mining out the site – a process that could take four to five years, Furey and Harris said.

The quarry has been, while not dormant, subject to limited activity for about 16 years, Furey said. Before blasting would begin, neighbors and the township would be notified, he said. Blasting would occur sporadically, said Harris.

“This will not be a high production quarry,” Harris said.

Once the mining is done, Eureka would seek to fill the quarry with clean fill materials. DEP defines clean fill as uncontaminated non-water-soluble, non-decomposable inert solid material, such as soil, rock, stone, and unpainted brick. Trash is among the items that would not be allowed.

Once the pit is filled to approximately the level/contour of the land prior to mining, the property would effectively be made into open space, having the appearance of a meadow, said Harris.

In response to questions from township officials, Furey said that fill loads are tested to check for contaminants. Every 70th load, for instance, gets checked. Loads of 3,000 or more yards get checked.

In response to questions from Wrightstown Solicitor Terry Clemons, Harris said that it’s impossible to say how many truck trips to the quarry would occur on a given day.

“It depends on the economy and availability of fill,” Harris said, noting that it could be up to 15 years before the quarry is loaded full.

Another option for reclaiming the quarry once mining is done is to fill it with water, but that’s not the route Eureka wants to go, said Harris. Returning the quarry to effectively being open space is the safer “more aesthetic option,” Harris said. Once filled, Eureka would likely retain ownership of the land.

Before Eureka can do anything, however, it must first win approval from DEP. Should things go as hoped, Eureka would get that approval this year and begin the mining down of Rush Valley 2 by the winter, Furey said.

The township can respond to DEP with comments on the reclamation plan, officials said. Comments could take the form of anything from protesting it to requesting a public hearing.

Supervisor Chairman Chester Pogonowski noted that he lives near the quarry. He indicated that he isn’t concerned with the clean fill plan. “I’m comfortable with what was presented,” he said.

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