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Henrietta Environmental Action Team - HEAT
Sunset - Woods - Plowed Fields
Stopping low density urban sprawl, protecting the natural environment and saving wet lands from uncontrolled development


 Township Growth and Quarries

  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.


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