Despite opposition, mining company clears next hurdle in Lexington County

Despite opposition, mining company clears next hurdle in Lexington County

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Despite a large crowd at Tuesday's meeting to oppose a proposed rock quarry in western Lexington County, council members quickly voted to let Vulcan Materials clear its next hurdle.

Councilman Larry Brigham was the lone vote against the mining company that is hoping to relocate in Batesburg-Leesville.

"A big hole coming in there, you know, 300+ feet deep and tearing up the land, it's just not something I would like to have happen," Brigham said.

According to Brigham, some of his constituents are also concerned with the possibility of dust, vibrations, and noise from the mine that will use explosives.

"One of the biggest concerns, though, is our water, because out there in rural, we're not on any water system," said Lisa Lewis of Ridge Coalition said. "We depend on our wells."

Richard Halsall, who lives just over a mile away from the mine, says he's concerned and doing research to learn more.

"I thought, well, you know, let's call people near quarries that are existing now. Vulcan quarries," Halsall said. "Everyone said you do not want them in your neighborhood."

But Jimmy Fleming of Vulcan Materials disagrees.

"The common perception is you're going to be blasting all day every day," Fleming said. "We blast, usually, once a week, maybe once every two weeks. It lasts less than a second, so you're talking about less than a minute for the entire year."

Fleming told WIS the buffers that Lexington County requires are tremendous, compared to other places. He says, even during this meeting, the access plan council approved will provide a quieter, more direct route for trucks traveling between the mine and U.S. Highway 1.

"I think the traffic plan is a good plan if we have to have it," Brigham said, "but if we can stop this thing, let's do all we can to stop this."

The next step for Vulcan is getting a permit from DHEC, where many of the issues about dust and noise might resurface.

Vulcan hopes to begin mining in 2017.

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