Alamance County community outraged over quarry project

ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. -- The Snow Camp community in Alamance County is outraged after residents found out a possible quarry may be coming to their area. The county commission held an emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss a way to address concerns of the people in that area.

People filled every seat at the meeting hoping to get their voices heard.

"As residents of Snow Camp, we're concerned that this project went through without any input from our community," Gary Ulicny said.

Alamance Aggregates received a permit from the county through the Heavy Industrial Use ordinance, written in 2011 during a time of high unemployment.

"Our ordinance doesn't provide for a public hearing and when we learned that there was a lot of concern in the community about this particular project. We looked into what we could do to make sure those concerns were addressed," said Amy Galey, commission chair.

At the meeting, the county commissioners voted to ask the state to host a public hearing. It's up to them next to approve an additional state permit.

"I think it's a recognition that they dropped the ball here," Ulincy said.

People were relieved about the commission's decision, but that doesn't outweigh their many concerns.

"I mean a gravel mine by definition is noisy, dusty, including carcinogens, known carcinogens when you ground rock and put into the air. Most importantly, the water. All of us depend on wells and the aquifer," Ulincy said.

Not only are residents worried about it being a health and environmental hazard, but many spoke out about a possible gas line in that area that could be affected.

"This could be the first of many types of operations coming in our region and if this is indeed going to be a way that we are building our industry and increasing our industrial presence here, careful consideration has got to be done upfront," said Jane Lee Hicks, a resident.

After the meeting, people from the Snow Camp community gathered to organize their next step in this fight against the project.