Negative Recommendation to Geneva Rock Expansion

Great news! On Thursday, February 27th, the Draper City Planning Commission unanimously voted to give a negative recommendation to Geneva Rocks request for a zoning change that would allow them to expand their mine at the Point of the Mountain.

The auditorium was filled to overflowing with 130+ people, and everyone who spoke at the hearing opposed Geneva’s application, including Dr. Brian Moench and other board members of UPHE. Our thanks to everyone who showed up to the hearing and everyone who sent in their written comments.

Despite the unanimous negative recommendation from the five commission members present, the Draper City Council will still vote on the application sometime in March.

Quote from Deseret News article:

“We need to get our priorities straight. Geneva’s profitability should not be allowed at everyone else’s expense,” said Dr. Brian Moench, board president at Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment and a vocal critic of Geneva’s expansion. “Not only will the dust from Geneva effect Draper, but it will spread to the entire valley.”

Quote from Salt Lake Tribune article:

John Macfarlane, a neurosurgeon and member of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, is unhappy with Draper’s decision to revisit the issue.

“It’s frustrating because we got the [Draper] City Council to weigh in on the subject and they were very clear they didn’t want Geneva to mine those areas because of its location and the increased population in the area,” Macfarlane said in an interview.

He said allowing Geneva to expand its mining operations at the Point of the Mountain would be “increasingly dangerous” for residents in Lehi and Draper because of the silica found in the mining dust. Silica is a known carcinogen, and Macfarlane says it has been found to negatively impact brain development in fetuses and has been linked to brain disorders like dementia.

Quote from ABC 4 News:

“I live right over the hill where this disaster is being proposed. I get dust all the time. My house is already dusty, it shakes. When I look out off the point, my view, there is a brown cloud every time it is windy,” said Draper City resident Chuck Elliott.

Residents like Elliot are worried about longterm health effects for Salt Lake County and Utah County dealing with arsenic, uranium, and crystalline silica in the dust from Geneva Rock.

“In addition to that, we know that there is also crystalline silica in this dust, which conic exposure to crystalline silica can cause lung disease and over time even lung cancer,” said Dr. Brian Moench the President of Utah Physicians for Healthy Environment. “In case of a pregnant mother, it means that there is all kinds of complications with adverse pregnancy outcomes as far as fetal development. Things like premature birth, low birth rate syndrome, birth defects, even stillbirths, so this is a very serious issue.”

Here are two more links to TV station coverage of the Geneva hearings:
Fox 13 News coverage
KUTV news coverage

Like a zombie that won’t ever die, we know Geneva will come back again and try to force their way into getting what they want, so this is not the end of the battle. With Geneva it never is. But it shows once again, that involved citizens can make Utah a better place. Like with the inland port, if enough of us show up, stand up, and speak up, there’s a limit to how much pollution corporate bullies and their buddies in the legislature can force feed us.