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Clark County Quells Quarry Qualms, For Now

Kathleen Matthews
A mining company proposed turning hundreds of acres of Springfield farmland into a limestone quarry.

More than 100 community members crowded the Clark County Commissioners meeting Wednesday morning to protest a new limestone quarry in Springfield, Ohio.

It was standing room only as the commissioners gave local residents at least a temporary victory in a dispute with a mining company.

Commissioners decided Enon Sand and Gravel needs a conditional use permit in order to turn hundreds of acres of agricultural land into a deep limestone quarry. In July 2017, the company filed a federal complaint against Clark County contesting that need.

“Enon Sand and Gravel already has a legal long-conforming use to mine sections of the property in question,” sayid Dennis Garrison, president of Enon Sand and Gravel. “We’re just asking the court to confirm that.”

Community members have several concerns about the new quarry. Nearby homes all use well water, and some people fear new deep quarries could harm that water supply.

“It’s such a given that wells will be affected that it’s actually part of the permit process that the company recognizes the need to drill a new well or provide us water,” said Kathleen Mathews, with the group Citizens Against Mining.

The commissioners’ vote means that Enon Sand and Gravel can’t start expansion on the land in question immediately.

Adora Namigadde was a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU News in February 2017. A Michigan native, she graduated from Wayne State University with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in French.