The growth of the township is dependent on availability of building materials
and for the most part, manufactured homes. While these factory assembled
homes require little on site construction and very limited contributions
from skilled trades persons (as evidenced by the numerous "builders" who
throw these projects together), they do require concrete, grading and driveway
materials. Due to the cost of trucking quarried material, it is generally
thought that quarries are more economically viable when short hauls to
developments are involved. As a result of this perceived or real economy of
location, the number of quarries is proliferating and this blight of
destruction is spreading everywhere.
Stopping new quarries from opening and shutting down existing
quarries is essential to stopping or at least slowing the ongoing cancerous
spread of low density sprawl. Public hearings on conditional use permits for
new quarries and also renewal of exiting permits allows residents to express
their concerns and object to these facilitators of destruction. Notification
of proposed public hearings as required by statute is sometimes
"overlooked" or other "accidents" in the notification process occur so that
conveniently, effected parties who oppose pending actions by the board
fail to make their voices heard. Since in most cases of "accidental failures"
in the notification process, the accidents were not accidents at all, do not
expect the board to correct their oversight when it is brought to their
attention. You will be told to file a civil suit at your own expense.
Tyranny in action.
Quarries not only have a negative effect through noise and dust
generation, many quarries penetrate the surface water table and enable
contamination of the ground water by fuel oil and other contaminates, many
of which are a product of the quarrying operation itself. Little or no
monitoring by the DEQ takes place of these sites until neighbors complain
of low water tables or some health problem arises. Because of the number
of these quarries and their constant proliferation, it is impossible for
the DEQ to continuously monitor these sites.
Residents should attempt to block new and renewal permits by any
means necessary. First should be at public hearings. Concerns should be raised
over contamination and demand that the permit be granted only if the operator
pays for and provides the results of monthly water quality monitoring.
Objection should also be made to noise, dust and hazards on the roads created
by trucks moving in and out of the operation. Residents should demand full and
strict compliance with governing ordinances and participation in ongoing
inspections to assure compliance.
The last resort of course is sit ins and taking over of the
township offices to facilitate press coverage and exposure to the public
of residents concerns and the corrupt practices of most township boards
in approving these permits. Regulations are not enforced, corrupt zoning
administrators interpret laws and ordinances in any way they see fit without
regard to due process and what is lawful. If one objects to the practices,
they are told to file a civil suit at their own expense. One need not file
a civil suit and spend your time and fortune fighting petty local politics.
One needs to organize like minded individuals to create a
civil disobedience action
and bring to light unfair practices of local boards and the effects
their decisions have on the plight of the environment.
If direct action against the governing authority fails, the action
can be brought to the quarry operators themselves. Their homes and businesses
can be hit with informational picketing and the actual quarry site can be
picketed. The extent of the direct actions are subjects to be decided by the
individual groups involved but can under certain circumstances lead to
arrest and other consequences.
Organizing and participating an an act of civil disobedience
builds a sense of community and comraderie and gives the newspapers something
to write about, it is lots of fun and educational for the kids and
an additional benefit is an organized base which can turn out voters to throw
the rascals out at the next election.