Boca Quarry expansion under review again by Nevada County
Nevada County is reviewing a project that will expand the Boca Quarry site another 118 acres, increasing the maximum annual extraction from 100,000 tons to one million tons of aggregate.
“The million tons a year is just a maximum and not an annual thing that will happen,” said Michael Smith of Teichert, the company behind the operation. The maximum limit that is set is to ensure they can properly serve a job if the demand suddenly becomes available, he said.
The site, located off West Hinton Road north of Interstate 80, currently mines from one 40-acre area, the East Pit, at which the processing plant is located. The project plans to open up the 118-acre West Pit for mining with an extraction limit of 17 million tons over 30 years.
Though traffic was a major concern the last time the commission discussed the project, according to commissioner Laura Duncan, the haul route for the trucks will remain the same.
“There is nothing in the project description that discusses or includes any route through the town of Hirschdale which has been a concern in the past,” said Coleen Shade, senior planner. “You still will have truck traffic on Stampede Meadows Road before they turn off to Hinton,” she said.
The county is currently reviewing the Draft Environmental Impact Report and will be accepting public comment until July 8 before preparing a final report.
“They understand that that’s a recreation and scenic corridor that impacts a lot of the people in the Glenshire area,” Commissioner Hardy Bullock. “I’m comfortable that they thoroughly understood what that means to be opening up that West Pit in that neighborhood.”
Teichert first took over the site in 2005. The expansion project has been in the works since 2010 when the company first submitted an application to the county to begin mining from the West Pit. In 2011 an initial environmental study was approved but later appealed due to concerns regarding aesthetics, air quality, greenhouse gases, water supply, traffic and circulation.
The plan was revised and a Draft Environmental Impact Report was circulated for public review in 2012. The following year a final EIR was prepared but was never certified due to public comments regarding the impacts on local recreation and safety. Another draft EIR was finally released in May this year.
“When we first began this project in 2007 and 2008, the great recession hit,” said Smith. “We really had to consolidate a lot of our resources and focus on certain territories.” Due to the recession they set this project aside and are now getting back to it.
Smith said if they cannot supply the material to the local community then it will be coming from Reno.
“That’s the biggest thing we try to address is how can we keep the rock local, serve the community and be better on the environment,” he said.
Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at email@example.com or 530-550-2652.