Mining company addresses concerns in West Point, some not sold

WEST POINT — Madison Township residents received answers last week following concerns with a mining permit recently issued to Rosebud Mining.

Barry Alexin of Rosebud attended the meeting, saying two permits were involved,. The first was involving a municipal solid waste (MSW) permit, filed about 26 months ago, which would accept drill cuttings from gas producers in the tri-state area and also allow to dispose of trash and garbage.

However, “that business has kind of fizzled,” Alexin said. “There’s not very much drilling going on, and personally I don’t think there’s going to be very much drilling going on in the future for the next several years in this particular area.”

Ultimately, according to Alexin, Rosebud abandoned plans for the MSW permit and withdrew its application with the EPA.

The second permit, which was approved, is an industrial mining permit (IMP) that allows the company to mine clay, shale, and some sandstone and limestone. He said this will be used to close off the southern portion of the property which had been used for disposal of First Energy’s fly ash.

“We need the clay and the shale, especially the shale material, because we’re going to close off, since we don’t really see a need to have the southern part of the site anymore for the MSW, we’re going to close it off and reclaim it,” Alexin said. “The way the ash permit reads, we have to cover it with material.”

Rosebud may occasionally sell some of the clay and shale to area brickmakers because its color and rigidity are what is in demand by brickmakers.

There will be “far less truck traffic,” Alexin said, noting most material there will remain on site.

“If anything, the truck traffic compared to, like, five or six years ago is going to be way down, and we’ll just be closing off the site and selling some of the earthly material,” Alexin said.

As for potential blasting, which Alexin said was among the provisions listed in the permit, the public must receive six to eight days notice. He said any announcement, which would be published in the local newspaper, would include location of the blasting and proximity of those affected.

Residents who may be “on the bubble” of the area of blasting and are not sure if they would be affected may contact Rosebud, he said, adding a preblast survey would be conducted documenting all pre-existing conditions.

Township resident Jay Hamilton asked about an aerial map of those who could be potentially affected by the work, and whether that also could appear in the paper. Alexin stated that a preliminary plan regarding what Hamilton described is in the permit, but also stated the map will be updated.

Some residents, however, remained skeptical. Cameron Road resident Randy Mitchell asked where, if any, blasting would take place. Alexin said on the same side of the fly ash, adding, “We aren’t doing anybody any harm.”

Mitchell seemed to disagree.

“So when you’re saying the trucking is slowing down, it’s not really because the trucking is stopped,” Mitchell said. “So when you start the hauling, you’re actually increasing the trucking.”

Alexin said trucking would not be as much as previously, adding Mitchell was trying to “twist it and raise all this concern that’s not needed.”

When Trustee Wayne Chamberlain asked if Alexin had answered Mitchell’s question, Mitchell answered in the negative, saying he believed Alexin wasn’t clear on whether or not they have an active MSW permit. Alexin responded that the company does not have an MSW permit and cannot do any such work.

“Why would we throw work away that we did when we could just let it sit there and see what happens? It’s not doing any harm. You’re trying to make harm out of it by trying to get me to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when I can’t predict the future,” Alexin said. “You’re trying to bring up unnecessary concerns that don’t exist.”

Mitchell continued his concerns, saying Rosebud may have “ulterior motives,” but Chamberlain, who said he also had that concern, said the company cannot do that.

Torma Road resident Todd Mays asked if the mining would be done near Torma, but Alexin said he wasn’t familiar with that roadway regarding the plans.

Alexin also said any future applications for an MSW permit would be filed under West Point Development LLC, while industrial mining permits would be under Rosebud Mining.

Should an MSW permit application be filed, public meetings would be held and the company would have to start the process over again, Alexin said.