Glenwood Springs Residents Fight Planned Quarry Expansion

<p><span style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; line-height: normal;">(Courtesy Glenwood Springs Post Independent)</span></p>
<p>The Roaring Fork Valley and Mt. Sopris, shown from Mushroom Rock above Carbondale.</p>
Photo: Roaring Fork Valley
The Roaring Fork Valley and Mt. Sopris, shown from Mushroom Rock above Carbondale.

“The whole community overall is really opposed to this because it would change the face of Glenwood and has massive visual scarring impacts, some pretty significant environmental impacts, we believe, as well as economic and quality of life impacts for those who visit and love Glenwood Springs,” said Jeff Peterson of the Glenwood Springs Citizens Alliance.

He said the proposed expansion would eliminate hundreds of acres of federal forest land that brings tourism money to the town. That could hurt local business owners and lower property values, Peterson said. Community members also worry the company’s production goal would cause serious pollution problems for the area.

“Five million tons a year being mined means we're talking dust pollution, carbon pollution with 320 to 450 trucks a day coming down the hillside and into the community through the tourist areas of town and being dumped directly at the confluence of the Roaring Fork and the Colorado River,” Peterson said. “Everything from air to water to noise to light to carbon pollution is a real concern.”

Many businesses and individuals have signed on to Peterson’s petition against the growth.

“We were coming together as a community,” he said.

Not only does the Citizens Alliance want to stop the growth of the quarry, but they also accused the company, RMR Industrials, of extracting product from outside their permitted area. Peterson said his group is asking the federal Bureau of Land Management to enforce existing regulations and to restrict this proposed expansion.

RMR has not yet reached an extraction deal with the BLM. The proposal still has to go through the federal approval process. Company officials did not return a request for comment.