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State Shows Few Permit
Violations By Company
Planning Quarry Here
BY SUSAN USHER
Since 1987 Martin Marietta Ag
gregates, the company that proposes
mining a limestone quarry in Bruns
wick County, has been fined six
times by the state for air or water
quality violations at quarries it oper
ates across the state.
Most of the infractions were mi
nor, records of the N.C. Division of
Environmental Management show.
Martin Marietta, one of the largest
quarry operators in North Carolina,
is the third-largest quarry operator in
the United States, with 170 mines
mainly located in the Midwest and
Southeast. These include five lime
stone quarries similar to the one it
proposes to develop off N.C. 211
within a mile of Sunny Point Mili
tary Ocean Terminal and Carolina
Power & Light Co's Brunswick
Until December 1991, Martin
Marietta operated a quarry pit at
Castle Hayne in New Hanover
County. It has proposed opening a
pit near Hampstead, in Pender
County, as well as the Brunswick
County plant, but hasn't begun ap
plying for permits for the Hamp
Encountering strong opposition
from its prospective neighbors and
local governments in Brunswick
County, Martin Marietta has said it
is modifying its proposed mining
plan while continuing to seek re
quired state and local permits.
Opponents and several state agen
cies are concerned about the possi
ble impact of the quarry operation
on adjacent properties and on nearby
public waters, including Walden
Creek, a nursery area for fish and
shellfish. While opponents are ask
ing the county to find a way to ban
the quarry, state agencies want
Martin Marietta to provide more de
bits on how it proposes to address
their environmental concerns.
With its other quarry operations
across North Carolina, Martin Mar
ietta deals with both the air and wa
ter quality sections of the state Div
ision of Environmental Manage
ment, and the Office of Mining in
the Division of Land Resources.
Between 1987 and 1992. Martin
Marietta paid $4,500 in penalties
plus $1,278 in investigative costs re
lating to four notices of air quality
Details on three of the notices ac
counting for $3,500 in fines were
not available, since files for the
years 1987-89 have been archived.
Those violations occurred, respec
tively, at company quarries in Lin
coln, Johnston and Cabarrus coun
The fourth notice involved partic
ulate emissions at its Lemon Springs
Quarry in Lee County. Martin Mar
ietta paid two $5(M) tines plus costs
tor operating a crusher and a con
veyer w ithout using the wet suppres
sion spray system required by the
plant air quality permit to keep dust
emissions at a minimum.
In 1990 Martin Marietta paid two
civil fines levied by the division.
One was SI 50 plus costs for late
submittal of the November 1989
monthly monitoring report on dis
charge at the Castle Hayne plant, in
seeking remission of the tine.
Environmental Services Manager
Horace Wilson stated that the sam
ple had been misplaced by either the
postal service or the testing lab, then
the report was submitted in error
with similar reports to the State of
In a more serious violation, Mar
tin Marietta paid a $900 fine in 1990
for excessive turbidity in wastewater
discharged into the Haw River on at
least eight occasions between March
1989 and May 1990. The company's
discharge permit limited the turbidi
ty level, or density of sediment or
particles, acceptable in wastewater
going into the river.
In seeking remission, Wilson indi
cated that at the time of the recurring
violation, Martin Marietta was not
quarrying, washing or processing
stone. Rainwater was being pumped
out of the quarry pit into a clarifica
tion pond and then discharged.
The pit was "relatively new," he
wrote, and so more subject to turbid
ity increases caused by rainfall.
By the lime the DEM formal no
tice of violation was issued in Aug
ust 1990, the mining company had
addressed the problem, building a
150,000-gallon settling cell and us
ing a flocculant to increase settling
of the sediment out of the water col
When assessed a civil penalty.
Martin Marietta routinely seeks re
mission, or reduction or dropping of
In one instance, it got what it
In shutting down the Castle
Hayne quarry, Martin Marietta had
to reclaim or remediate soil around
the shop area that had been contami
nated with diesel fuel and motor oil.
Anticipating that the work would
lie completed by the end of Dec
ember 1991, when its permit for the
project would end, the company
didn't seek an renewal from DI-M
within the allotted time frame. How
ever. nine days into the 180-day no
tice period it filed a belated request,
concerned that record rainfall over a
period of several months would de
lay the project. In August DEM pro
posed a $300 civil penalty for failing
to meet the deadline.
In mid-September Martin Mari
etta withdrew the permit extension
request, saying it didn't appear to be
needed after all, and succeeded in
having the proposed fine rescinded
in June 1992, after it was deter
mined that the land reclamation pro
ject was completed.
Charles Gardner, director of the
state Division of Land Resources
and state geologist, said mining of
fice experience with Martin Marietta
has been good to date.
"They have been good at compli
ance," he said. "I'm not aware of
any problems in general we've had
| Reason's (Greetings
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