EBSCO takes official stand on quarry

Published 1:27 pm Wednesday, November 11, 2009

EBSCO Industries President and CEO F. Dixon Brooke Jr. Nov. 11 announced EBSCO is officially against White Rock Quarries’ proposed limestone quarry in Vincent.

In a press conference, Brooke said there were too many questions about how the quarry would affect operations of EBSCO’s Vulcan Information Plant, which is located within a half mile of White Rock’s proposed location.

“We are opposed to the quarry. We’re concerned about the negative effects of the quarry,” Brooke said. “We’re very concerned about the proximity and potential impact on our operations.”

Uday Bhate of Bhate Geosciences Corporation spoke about the danger of sinkholes opening because of the proposed quarry. He said White Rock’s operations would present even more danger because sinkholes are already prevalent around the VIP plant.

“A quarry operation would put this plant and property at a very high risk,” he said.

Toxicologist Kathy Wurzel said there are concerns because of noise pollution, dust and air quality. She also said there would likely be an increase of heavy truck traffic in the area, which could lead to traffic accidents.

Brooke said EBSCO has requested a meeting with Vincent officials to share the company’s findings.

“At the end of the day, it’s up to the city,” Brooke said.

However, Brooke reiterated that EBSCO intends to stay in Vincent as long as possible.

“If the quarry comes, the quarry comes, and we’ll do what we have to do,” he said. “We’re not convinced the quarry won’t disrupt our operations, but we want to remain in Vincent as long as we can.”

White Rock spokesperson Stephen Bradley said EBSCO’s press conference didn’t reveal any new information, simply confirming that EBSCO opposes the proposed quarry.

“The question is, why do they oppose the project? They say they oppose it because of sinkhole concerns, but if that’s true, then how come they haven’t fixed the two sinkholes already on their property?” Bradley said. “This is just another EBSCO smokescreen for their real concern, which is that White Rock’s pay scale doubles that of EBSCO’s pay scale. EBSCO is simply worried that they will lose employees and have to pay more to retain them.”

Bradley said EBSCO doesn’t want to deal with competition.

“EBSCO has had a pretty good deal all these years, in effect being the only game in town,” he said. “Now they see that advantage slipping away.”