1,400+ comments to the DAQ about Parley’s mine

Parley’s Canyon is a popular multipurpose recreation area. Locals and visitors will suffer if Granite Construction’s proposal passes.

The Utah Division of Air Quality is flooded with comments from concerned residents, including technical comments from UPHE, pleading with them to deny Granite Constructions’ permit for a mine and gravel pit in Parley’s Canyon. 

In July, UPHE helped organize a rally outside of the Division of Air Quality’s office to save Parley’s. ABC4 covered the end of the public comment period, in which they interviewed UPHE’s Dr. Brian Moench who addressed concerns with the proposal. “It’s going to impair water quality and it’s also going to be a huge source of water consumption. It also represents a fire risk, because anytime you industrialize an area like this, bringing in heavy equipment, that increases the fire risk.” A KSL article earlier this summer reported on Forest Service thinning operations, aimed at reducing fire risk in the area. If the state is ok with cutting trees to prevent wildfires, they should surely be opposed to mines increasing the risk. 

The Utah Division of Air Quality should firmly deny Granite Construction’s permit for a gravel pit and mine in Parley’s Canyon due to several critical environmental and health concerns. Firstly, the project’s potential impact on water use and quality cannot be ignored. Parley’s Canyon is known for its delicate water ecosystem, supporting numerous streams, wildlife habitats and contributing a decent percentage to the valley’s drinking water. The excavation and mining activities at the proposed site may lead to runoff and seepage of harmful pollutants, including sediment, heavy metals, and chemicals, contaminating nearby water sources. This poses a severe threat to the ecological balance and could render the water unfit for human consumption and recreational purposes.

Operations would also require excessive water consumption which could significantly deplete the area’s already limited water resources, leading to adverse consequences for local communities, agriculture, and wildlife.

Dust pollution is already a pressing concern in Parley’s Canyon. The operation of a gravel pit and mine inherently generates substantial dust emissions, which can have detrimental effects on air quality and public health. The fine particulate matter released during mining activities can exacerbate respiratory conditions, leading to health issues for both workers and nearby residents. 139,000 residents live in a three mile radius of the proposed site. 

If the Utah Division of Air Quality is not able to deny this permit, it exposes a serious and detrimental issue with Utah’s policy and public input process. Please stay alert for additional ways to help stop this proposal, save Parley’s Canyon, and protect the future and livability of the Wasatch. 

Watch the ABC4 piece here.

Read UPHE’s comments to the DAQ