Quality of Life
The life-of-mine project is 3,350 feet long, including the bisecting National Grid power line along the southern boundary of the site.
The INWR boundary is 20.3 miles or 107,184 feet; the proposed quarry would occupy 3% of that.
Mining operations must follow strict regulations and we understand the need for residents to be able to go on normally, without disruption to their daily lives. Frontier Stone has performed years of necessary studies to develop an operations plan with the least amount of noise impact to the surrounding community.
Frontier Stone’s blasts would mostly occur at an inaudible frequency. Condition #21 of the DEC draft permit states air blasts shall not exceed 133 decibels (dB). 133 decibels is approximately 62.5 dBAs. dBA is the measurement of audible range to the normal human ear. A 150-170 dBA shotgun blast in the nearby woods of the refuge is far louder than this quarry's blast.
Blasting is also an infrequent occurrence. The frequency of blasting proposed for this operation is once a week during a 30-week operating season. Blasting would be conducted in the middle of the day between 9am and 4pm. Frontier Stone also intends to use timing delays which makes blast more efficient and minimizes blast-related noise.
Noise from the mining operation is projected to only increase noise levels at the INWR overlooks and IJCC by 2 dBA. According to the DEC’s Guidance Program Policy: Assessing and Mitigating Noise Impacts (“Noise Policy”), an increase ranging from 0-3 dB should have “no appreciable effect on receptors” and do not require further analysis to establish how vegetation and the planned berms would further attenuate sounds at those receptors.
Mine hours of operation would be limited to 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM - Monday through Friday, and 6:00 AM to 12:00 PM Saturday. There will be no hours of operation on Sundays or on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving or Christmas Day. Hours have been carefully selected as to create as little disruption as possible to resident’s daily routines.
The 133 decibel permit condition (#21) is approximately 62.5 dBAs in audible range to the normal human ear.
A 150-170 dBA shotgun blast in the woods of the refuge is far louder than this quarry's blast design.
Every material thing in our lives must either be farmed or mined; there are no exceptions.*
Mines represent an enormous amount of economic activity, operating without widespread regional impacts on human health or the environment.*
Frontier Stone has completed a two-step process under Commissioner’s Policy (CP-33) that is used to quantify the emissions of particulate matter (dust). If the result is less than the threshold of 15 tons per year, then there is no need for further analysis. The DEC has confirmed the projected emissions for this operation are “well below the threshold of requiring any further analysis.” Our studies further demonstrate that particle matter impacts from the project are insignificant and, therefore, “additional assessment is not required.”
Frontier will operate under an air facility registration that will also prohibit nuisance emissions.
The DEC draft permit conditions outline water or other approved dust palliatives must be applied to haulageways and other working areas of the mine, as often as necessary, to prevent visible dust from leaving the mine property.
It is easy for the general public to understand and accept that agricultural land must be preserved. It appears to be more difficult to recognize, but it is no less true, that mining land must also be preserved.*
Increased demand for greener energy has driven increased demand for rare earth materials.*
The potential traffic impacts of both potential access points – Sour Springs Road and Fletcher Chapel Road – have been evaluated. Neither access point is expected to adversely impact traffic operations. Frontier Stone is prepared to consider any recommendations the town may have with regard to roadway access to the proposed site.
Frontier Stone has agreed to the full-depth road reclamation (and shoulder treatment) recommended by the NYSDOT for Sour Springs & Oak Orchard Ridge Roads, should the town determine that to be the preferred access point.
Road improvements will be performed on Fletcher Chapel Road, should that access via that roadway be preferred by the town.
Frontier Stone is aware of the repairs the access roads are in need of and is dedicated to making these improvements to not only streamline quarry operations but as a means of giving back to the community.
Our lives and lifestyles, and our desires for a better planet, are intimately intertwined with mining as much as with agriculture.*
Demand for strategic minerals is rising, with much of the demand driven by the same individuals and groups who express opposition to local mining operations.*
It is often better for natural resources to be produced in developed nations with more stringent environmental standards, such as the United States. Environmental and human health protections are stronger in the U.S.*
*The Heartland Institute | Policy Study, February 2016
Nonmetallic mines represent an enormous amount of economic activity, operating without widespread regional impacts on human health or the environment.
-The Heartland Institute
Mine workers are ranked the 3rd highest salaries in the United States.
-The National Mining Association
15 direct jobs will be created by Frontier Stone, with even more support for the community through the purchasing of local goods and services.
If the number of mines were reduced by one-half, transportation cost associated with NYS Thruway construction sites could rise as much as 59%, or $2.2 million, in one year which would impact travelers.
Mineral Industry of the State of New York, William M. Kelly.
In 2012, New York alone created $1,140 million worth of mineral, metal and fuel products. An additional $5,770 million was indirectly generated by the mining industry in New York State.
-The National Mining Association
Without aggregates being available locally, they will have to be brought in from more distant sources. This will increase the cost per ton.
With a 75-year lifespan, the mine is one of few projects that guarantees tax revenue to the county and town for an extended period of time, helping to alleviate the increasing tax burden on residents.
The U.S. Geological survey estimated mineral commodities were transformed into $2.4 trillion worth of goods and services, 15% of total U.S. GDP.
-The National Mining Association