Augusta quarry operators want to move ahead with license renewals – Maine News

Augusta quarry operators want to move ahead with license renewals – Maine News

AUGUSTA — The two quarry operators that blast rock in the city, both of which have mineral extraction licenses set to expire this summer, urged officials to allow them to go forward with their license renewals, and not to enact a proposed moratorium that could delay their review until next year.

City councilors Thursday discussed a proposal to extend the mineral extraction licenses of the two commercial quarry operators that blast rock in the city, Quirion Construction and McGee Construction, until the end of the year, while also not allowing them to renew their licenses longer-term in the meantime.

The council previously voted down a similar proposal.

Ward 3 City Councilor Harold Elliott reintroduced the controversial proposal in an effort to give city officials time to have an expert review blasting data and other information to try to determine whether blasts from one of the quarry operations, McGee Construction, could be responsible for damage to homes in the Grandview neighborhood.

Representatives of the two companies that blast rock under the provisions of the city’s mineral extraction ordinance said having the licenses is a key part of planning for their businesses and argued they should be allowed to have their licenses considered for renewal by the Planning Board under the normal, established procedure.

“The Quirions would like the opportunity to engage in regular and normal operation for their business, and would like to have available the regular and normal permitting for their business,” said attorney Andrew Hamilton, representing the owners of Quirion Construction, and urging councilors to allow…

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