Opposition to the Parley’s mine

June 22, 9:00 AM – 6:30 PM there will be a public hearing on Utah Division of Air Quality’s decision to approve a mine/gravel pit in Parley’s Canyon. The hearing will be in the boardroom of the state office building at 195 North 1950 West in Salt Lake City. 

They are also accepting public comments through July 27. Please submit comments to John Persons, the DAQ project engineer, at jpersons@utah.gov and copy DAQ Division Director, Bryce Bird at bbird@utah.gov, Department of Environmental Quality Executive Director, Kim Shelley at kshelley@utah.gov and Governor Cox, using this form

Near the proposed gravel pit site in Parley’s Canyon.

The opposition to a gravel pit/limestone mine in Parley’s Canyon gained another powerful voice and perspective. Fraser Bullock, president and chief executive officer of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Olympic Games, which is bidding to  host the 2030 or 2034 Winter Games, was quoted in a Deseret News article, “The International Olympic Committee is very focused on preserving our environment, very focused on sustainability, such that our bid has a big part of it around the environment and sustainability.”

A gravel pit and mine up the main route to the former Olympic Games site contradicts the bid’s description of the state’s priorities. While Granite Construction argues that travelers will have to look for the mine on the current scenic route, the dust will surely be easily noticed by drivers and recreationists. 

The currently approved permit is for a 20-acre parcel. However, the land is part of a 600-acre parcel, and the company previously attempted to file for a larger mine, leading most to the conclusion they have plans to expand it and are using a small operations permit to get their foot in the door and circumvent more rigorous approval processes. 

The draft document (currently under public comment) addresses issues such as dust suppression, particulate pollution mitigation, and other controls to minimize the quarry’s impact. Measures outlined in the draft permit are not adequate, as there is no safe level of air pollution and residents just below the site live in inversion conditions. The use of water for dust suppression in a mega drought is reckless and unnecessary. 

Granite Construction is attempting to exploit Utah’s weak mining regulations, which desperately need to be updated to reflect the threat of climate change, proximity to sites and public input. If you’re outraged, please let it be heard by commenting. 

Find the Deseret News article here.

Dust storms already frequent Parley’s Canyon from the existing operations there.