Update on Parley’s – passed through DOGM
Granite Construction is continuing to exploit Utah’s weak environmental regulations in their efforts to build a mine in local treasure, Parley’s Canyon. Their permit passed the Utah Division of Oil Gas and Mining (DOGM) last week, despite massive public opposition and already dire environmental conditions.
The company filed as a “small mining operation” which requires far less scrutiny than larger mining operations, and only allows impact to 20 acres of land. Developer Jesse Lassley, owns a 634-acre parcel under Grandeur Peak that has been identified for the site. They also released plans originally for a much larger mine on the site.
Although DOGM ultimately approved the permit, they did put some red tape on the process that could be beneficial in blocking it from moving forward.
“Baza (DOGM’s director) concluded that DOGM was not the appropriate regulatory agency for addressing these concerns (environmental and public health). But given the quarry’s proximity to Utah’s largest population center, Baza took the unusual step of loading his order with various requirements aimed at protecting public safety.
According to Baza’s order, Granite is to obtain all required approvals from local, state and federal “authorities of applicable jurisdiction” before commencing any operations. It is to comply with all other relevant statutes, regulations and ordinances, including those applying to zoning, safety, air and water pollution, sanitation and waste management, and public liability and property damage.
These provisions could pose a real hurdle for the quarry since the Salt Lake County Council recently amended the zoning ordinance to ban any new mines in the Wasatch foothills and canyons. Lassley’s lawyers have argued the county’s action is illegal in light of a bill the Legislature passed in 2019 barring municipal authorities from restricting the mining of sand, gravel and other “critical infrastructure materials.”
This dispute will likely have to be resolved in court,” the Salt Lake Tribune writes.