A Community Information Event on How Gravel Mining Impacts Our Community and Yours

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The property on Pleasant Lake Rd in Sharon Twp proposed for gravel mining. Photo: Google.

From Sharon Preservation Society

Residents of Sharon and Surrounding Townships Get the Full Picture on the Impacts of Gravel Mining Sharon Preservation Society is hosting a community informational event, “How Gravel Mining Impacts Our Community – and Yours,” on July 23rd.

As more Michigan communities receive permit applications from mine operators, many residents are wondering if Michigan needs more aggregate mines, if there are places that mines should not be located, and trying to understand the potential impact of having a gravel mine in their community.

In Sharon Township, the Planning Commission and Board of Trustees is currently reviewing an application from Stoneco Inc. to create a 400-acre mine on prime farmland on Pleasant Lake Rd there. Many residents have expressed concerns about the potential impact of the mine. If it becomes operational, this proposed site would be the largest gravel mine in Washtenaw County, and, likely, one of the largest in the state. Its impact that will almost certainly be felt by township residents as well as anyone using Pleasant Lake Rd or M-52.

“To date, Sharon Township residents who attended the public hearings about the proposed 400-acre mine have heard only the applicant’s point-of-view regarding the impact of the potential mine,” said Barbara Schmid, President of Sharon Preservation Society. “These residents have not heard from scientists, environmentalists, or individuals with other points of view. We think they deserve this opportunity, and they should know about the consequences of SB 429-431, should those bills become law. This event is that opportunity.”

Attendees from Sharon Township and surrounding communities, who rarely hear the full impact of aggregate mining during public hearings, can learn from experts about:

  • The potential very serious consequences of an aggregate mine, including the impacts on health safety, traffic, the environment, and property values
  • The impact of a package of bills, SB 429-431, supported by the aggregate industry, that would effectively pre-empt the control of local governments over the permitting and oversight of mining operations
  • What small townships can do if they determine a mine would seriously impact the community The family-friendly event is free, open to the public, and features a panel of speakers who can answer attendees’ questions.

Date: Saturday, July 23, 2022, Rain or shine (event will be outdoors under a large canopy with plenty of seating)

Time: 10:00am to 1:00pm
Place: UAW Hall – Local 1284, 2795 S. M-52, Chelsea

Panelists will address issues about sand and gravel mining that impact Michigan communities – and answer your questions:

Halley Fox, State Government Affairs Coordinator, Michigan League of Conservation Voters

  • Halley Fox, State Government Affairs Coordinator, Michigan League of Conservation Voters
  • Larry Heslinga, Chair, Committee for Gravel Mining Concerns, Healthy Waters Alliance
  • Donna Lasinski, State Representative, 52nd District, Michigan House Democratic Leader
  • Peter Psarouthakis, Supervisor, Sharon Township
  • Mike Wilczynski, Certified Professional Geologist, Pangea Environmental LLC
  • Larry Heslinga, Chair, Committee for Gravel Mining Concerns, Healthy Waters Alliance

Program

  • 10:00 Music, food truck, Information booths
  • 10:30 Presentation TBD
  • 11:00 Moderated panel discussion with Q and A
  • 12:00 More music, food truck, information booth

Residents from any community facing a similar situation can find out:

  • Do we need another sand and gravel pit? If so, where?
  • Should I be concerned about an aggregate (sand and gravel) mine in my community? Why?
  • Can a mine operate in a community without creating “very serious consequences?”
  • Which “very serious consequences” must be proven in order to deny a mining permit?
  • Do gravel mine operators always get a permit? Do residents of communities have any recourse?
  • SB 429-431 will remove local control of aggregate mining from townships to the state. Should we be worried? Why?

We are seeking donations and volunteers to help make this event possible. Any amount is welcome. To donate: visit SharonPreservationSociety.org/#donate. 

For more information: Visit www.sharonpreservationsociety.org

Sharon Preservation Society was founded to inform Sharon Township residents about issues that impact our health, safety, welfare, or property values.

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