Now, the mine is up for an annual operating permit. The city council will consider it at its meeting February 18th. From the city’s press release:
When the City Council approved the Conditional Use Permit and AOP in 2013 for the Zavoral Mine and Reclamation Project, numerous conditions were attached to the approvals and required monitoring related to groundwater, surface water, wetlands, reclamation, air quality, noise standards, and traffic regulations. The City contracted with a number of professionals in these fields to complete the required monitoring.
The reports, which are available on the city’s website, largely concern two key issues: groundwater contamination and traffic management.
Watching the water
One of the primary pollution concerns at the site is diesel fuel contaminating groundwater. According to Tiller Corp.’s permit application (PDF), a 500-gallon diesel tank was brought to the site in late October last year to provide fuel for equipment.
To monitor for pollution, water was analyzed before operations began in September. Then, the company’s groundwater sampling consultant took another sample on January 15 of this year. In its report (PDF), the consultant states that no diesel fuel residue was found.
Road signs rejected
With hundreds of trucks coming and going from the site each day, the danger to drivers on busy Highways 95 and 97 is a worry for many local residents.
The city restricted traffic from the site to an average 334 to 400 round trips per day and a maximum of 600 round trips per day. Tiller reports in its application that so far, there has been an average of 402 trips per day and the peak number of trips per day was 598.
To alert drivers to the increased truck traffic, the city required Tiller to add warning signs on Highways 95 and 97, and also at the entrance to the other mine site where the gravel will be taken for processing.
Late last year, Washington County rejected Tiller’s application for warning signs at the other mine site. The company is still waiting on a decision from the Minnesota Department of Transportation about signs on Highways 95 and 97.
City Council meeting details
The City Council will review the materials and consider the application at their Tuesday, February 18, 2014 regular meeting. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the Scandia Community Center, 14727 209th St. N., Scandia, MN 55073.
Download all reports and the permit application here.