White Rock fires back at EBSCO for letter concerning quarry

Published 4:52 pm Friday, July 24, 2009

EBSCO Industries’ company-wide letter expressing concern over White Rock Quarries’ proposed limestone quarry in Vincent is nothing but a “smokescreen,” said White Rock spokesperson Stephen Bradley.

The letter expresses concerns over sinkholes that could be caused by the quarry in the future and also claims EBSCO could end operations in Vincent if the quarry is approved.

Bradley termed the letter a “scare tactic.”

“EBSCO is worried that, because White Rock’s pay and benefits are nearly twice what EBSCO pays, EBSCO will be forced to pay considerably more to be competitive in keeping employees,” Bradley said. “For the past 40 years, EBSCO has had a good deal. It hasn’t had any competition with any other big employer in the area.”

Bradley said White Rock has had two meetings with EBSCO, at EBSCO’s request, to discuss the quarry project and discuss any concerns EBSCO had. At the last meeting, EBSCO president F. Dixon Brooke Jr. committed to meeting again for more discussions, Bradley said.

“It’s unfortunate that (Brooke) chose the scare tactic of the letter and news release over continued good faith discussions,” he said.

Bradley said White Rock could point to residences and businesses near other Alabama quarries that have held up well for years.

He also said EBSCO’s Vulcan Information Packaging plant in Vincent has open sinkholes, which have been left untended for years. Sinkholes are bad for the environment because pollutants can drain through them into the ground.

“Our property is downgrade from EBSCO, and we are worried about groundwater pollution coming from EBSCO into our property,” Bradley said. “As a matter of fact, one of the first things we will do is install monitoring wells to determine how serious that groundwater pollution coming from EBSCO might be.”

Bradley said White Rock hopes EBSCO would not end operations in Vincent because of the quarry project.

“It is both sad and unfortunate that EBSCO would use tactics like this to try to sabotage a project that could bring tremendous financial and tax benefits to Vincent and higher-paying jobs for citizens,” he said.