AQD sets Doyle Pit hearing for air quality issues

Joy Ufford photo 
Signs restricting access to authorized personnel only mark the entrance to the Doyle Gravel pit, as seen from the Pole Creek Road near Highway 191. The county seeks to modify and expand the operations at this pit.

SUBLETTE COUNTY – As promised on Friday, Nov. 11, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality released a new public notice about the county’s request to modify and expand its Doyle Pit operations just south of Pinedale.

The DEQ’s Air Quality Division previously set a Nov. 4 deadline for public comments about Sublette County Road and Bridge supervisor Billy Pape’s plans to mine, stockpile and haul gravel and build an asphalt hot-mix plant but extended the public comment period to Wednesday, Dec. 14.

That is the same day as the AQD’s public hearing about the county’s requested air-quality permit for the Doyle Pit, which many oppose for reasons of dust, noise and emissions, being adjacent to four subdivisions with at least 50 residences within a mile.

The public hearing is set for Thursday, Dec. 14, at 6 p.m. at the Pinedale Library Lovatt Room, 155 S. Tyler Ave. The comment period closes with the hearing’s adjournment.

The site is one-eighth of a mile from Pinedale’s municipal limits and directly adjacent to Highway 191 and its intersection with Pole Creek Road.

The Nov. 11 legal notice repeats that AQD administrator Nancy Vehr propose to approve the request.

“The hearing … will not be conducted as a contested case,” it says. “The purpose of the hearing is to gather information concerning the emissions of air pollutants into the atmosphere and the impact of such pollutants on the ambient air quality.”

AQD’s review of the Sublette County Road & Bridge permit application finds no pertinent reason to not allow the Doyle Pit’s expansion from 40 to 65.4 acres; the county has a permit for the initial acreage and has never mined the site.

Last summer the county paid $1 million to the Doyle Family to acquire an adjacent agricultural parcel for a larger gravel pit. The deal was downplayed at public meetings and in public documents and Sublette County Deputy Attorney Clayton Melinkovich carried out the transaction between county commissioners’ meetings.

AQD expects the Doyle Pits emissions of pollutants and dust, including mining and the hot-mix plant to not be higher than averages of comparative sites.

“The scope of the hearing will be limited to such issues in order for the DEQ to determine whether or not the applicable Air Quality Standards and Regulations will be violated as a result of the construction of the facility,” the Nov. 11 notice states.

Any issues with dust could alleviated with spreading water or another abatement material.

However, citizens who spoke against the county’s purchase of the Doyle Pit – before they learned it had already happened – told of wind-borne dust and grit escaping from the county’s other gravel pit near the Pinedale Town Shops to their homes across the highway near the proposed Doyle Pit.their

The citizens’ committee is working to find solutions or alternatives to ease concerns about developing the 65-acre gravel pit and hot-mix plant visible from their homes.

For more, see supervisor Billy Pape’s application and the AQD analysis at https://openair.wyo.gov. Use facility number ID F022445 and permit number P0035701. A paper copy is available at the Sublette County Clerk’s Office.

Only written comments will be accepted and should include the reference A0013996. They can be mailed to Nancy E. Vehr, Administrator, Division of Air Quality, Department of Environmental Quality, 200 W. 17th St., Cheyenne WY 82002 or faxed to 307-635-1784.

Comments can be submitted electronically to the DEQ at http://aq.wyomingdeq.commentinput.com.

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