In Support of CCA: Your View—NIMBY action demonizes quarry

By Michael King
Posted on March 14, 2009 @ 12:00AM

So the anti-quarry, anti-business NIMBY action continues to escalate in Freetown with regard to Cape Cod Aggregates, more to the point the continued distortions of fact surrounding the operation and the regulations they must meet in order to operate.

Open pit mining is regulated by MSHA, the Mine Safety and Health Administration. They have broad regulatory and enforcement powers granted by the federal government. They can enter any facility at any time and compliance is mandatory, not arbitrary. Penalties for failure to comply are substantial, and ultimately are designed to prevent fatalities in this essential industry.

MSHA standards have been developed over decades of regulation, continued analysis of hazards, enforcements of standards, and modernization.

To say CCA is self-regulating is an outright lie, a complete distortion of the truth.

Pollen is actually, and measurably by volume, more of a pulmonary irritant and threat.

It is incumbent upon Cape Cod Aggregates to place modern seismographic equipment all around the blast zones. Federal regulations require strict standards be adhered to which prevent the kinds of problems that current hysteria is promulgating. What is being said is simply not even the truth about how these operations are conducted or their imagined impact. We are theoretically more likely to experience an earthquake.

Lastly, the big “C” word, cancer: How does crushing rocks cause cancer? This is not the same as precious metal mining, which uses caustic chemicals to release the precious elements from rock. Breaking rocks does not cause cancer.

All trucks now are required to run ultra-low-sulfur diesel, as well as the equipment working in the quarry. Again, these are inflammatory distortions of facts intended to rally people against something they don’t even understand.

How about a tour of the facility? It could be a free addition to the science curriculum of the local school system. Maybe it could inspire a future geologist. Don’t we need more cost-effective teaching moments? The school budget is about to be gutted.

Most people don’t know how many quarries there are in the SouthCoast, or even where they are. They are small, family-owned businesses, literally scraping a living from the ground, creating products which are absolutely essential for the “building blocks” of everyday life. They work all around us, and have done so for decades, with little or no negative impact upon their locales.

They give people jobs. They contribute to the tax base. They make up the basic materials we use every day, all around us.

Stop & Shop operates for free in Freetown; they got a tax break to build there. Yet both places create jobs. They put people to work. The CCA operation has for many years and for the benefit of this town, its tax base and its contractors, and hopefully will continue.

Maybe if CCA paid all its bills in silver dollars to the local vendors and suppliers, and its taxes, people would see real trickle-down economics, and understand why business and industry are integral parts of any community.