ADEM hearing set for quarry

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A proposed quarry near Alabaster appears to be in compliance with water quality and air pollution control rules, and ADEM has set a public hearing on the matter for Thursday, Oct. 13 at Thompson High School.

But a University of Montevallo associate professor has discovered a rare plant species in the area, and the UM Foundation has already filed suit against the company proposing the quarry over environmental issues.

Middle Tennessee Land Development Company LLC has proposed a crushed limestone mine, wet preparation and associated area (a limestone quarry) to be located at 844 Smokey Road, east of Alabama Highway 119.

ADEM has tentatively determined that the limitations proposed by the company would properly limit air emissions and would satisfy the requirements of the department’s air pollution control rules and water quality rules.

According to ADEM, the hearing will be held for interested parties to make oral and written comments on the quarry proposal.

Those wishing to make oral comments at the public hearing should also submit those comments in writing.

All comments must be submitted to the department by 5 p.m. Oct. 20. Oral comments and technical data may also be submitted during the Oct. 13 public hearing.

Comments should be sent to Ronald W. Gore, Chief, Air Division, ADEM, 1400 Coliseum Blvd., (Mailing address: P.O. Box 301463; Zip 36130-1463), Montgomery, AL


In the meantime, UM associate professor of biology Mike Hardig has made a unique discovery in the area of the proposed quarry.

“I found a large population of Xyris tennesseensis (the Tennessee Yellow-Eyed grass), a federally protected endangered plant species,” he said.

Hardig said Al Schotz, a botanist with the Alabama Natural Heritage Program, had confirmed his findings.

“The most recent discovery near Montevallo, Shelby County, Alabama, by University of Montevallo Professor, Mike Hardig, represents a significant contribution toward the understanding of the state’s flora and an opportunity toward safeguarding a component of Alabama’s natural heritage,” Schotz said