The H&K group has submitted an application proposing a quarry on a nearly 200-acre tract of forested land in Springfield Township.
Tucked between the busy route 309 corridor and the rural neighborhoods of Mine Road, Salem Road and Springfield Street, the quarry would also border the newest section of the Saucon Rail Trail.
The proposed quarry site contains wetlands and regulated waters, which are a tributary of Tohickon Creek. The large section of mature forest provides habitat for a multitude of animals, and is a valuable resource for recharging ground and surface waters.
Local residents are banding together in opposition to H&K’s plans. Flyers alerting residents to the quarry plans and associated dangers have been tucked on mailboxes, hand painted signs are appearing in yards, and a Facebook page opposing the quarry reached over 100 members within two days.
A neighborhood meeting on Sunday afternoon drew over 60 residents together to voice concerns and form an action plan to stop the quarry. Residents want to preserve the rural character of the residential neighborhoods that surround the quarry site. In addition to the hundreds of families that will be negatively impacted by quarry operations, there are multiple farms in the vicinity that could have their livelihoods disturbed or halted should their wells go dry.
Some of the many concerns residents have about the quarry are destruction of ecosystems, wildlife displacement, increased traffic, noise and light pollution, serious health issues, structural damage to homes, pollution of ground and surface water and the drying up of wells. Dust from rock quarries can be carried up to five miles via wind and cause a number of health issues, including reduction in lung function and lung diseases, leukemia, heart abnormalities, stroke and cognitive disorders, heart failure, cardiac arrest and fertility problems including miscarriages and premature birth. Residents are also concerned with the quarry’s vicinity to a gas line.
According to an assessment by township engineer Timothy Fulmer of C. Robert Wynn Associates Inc., “information in the project narrative appears to suggest that the applicant believes that the development of a quarry does not need to comply with the resource protection of the zoning ordinance.”
Mr. Fulmer ultimately recommends that conditional use not be granted to the H&K Group for the quarry unless a number of items are resolved in the site plan.
A hearing for a decision by the board of supervisors originally scheduled for July has been moved to September.