Rocky Mountain Resources (RMR) is requesting permission to conduct a hydrology study for the proposed expansion area around the Mid-Continent Quarry just north of Glenwood Springs.
RMR purchased the quarry in 2016, and is now asking the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to expand the current limestone mining site by 5,000%.
David Boyd, the Public Affairs Specialist for BLM, said the agency must first conduct the hydrology study, among other baseline studies, before conducting an Environmental Impact Study needed to determine if the expansion can be approved.
“We want as much baseline information about the area as we can, so this is part of that...to provide baseline information so we can look at what potential impacts the proposed expansion would have,” Boyd said.
Jonathan Godes, the Mayor of Glenwood Springs, says the main question for him is whether RMR is violating the Mining Law of 1872. Godes says that law allows private companies to mine on public lands for certain minerals. But, he says, limestone is not one of them and imestone is what RMR is mining at the Mid-Continent Quarry.
“We are just still at a loss as a community to really understand why that question hasn’t been completely examined, debated and litigated before any of these other studies are allowed to happen,” Godes said.
In the past week, Basalt and Carbondale town councils passed resolutions in support of Glenwood Springs and in opposition to the expansion project.
The BLM is holding public comment online until October 24th for the hydrology study. Public comment for the expansion project proposal is planned for Spring or Summer of 2020.