County's Doyle gravel pit questioned
Recent Pinedale Roundup articles indicated that the county is planning to acquire a 25-acre parcel for use by the county as a gravel pit. The articles indicate that the county is in a great hurry to finalize the property acquisition. There appears to be a rush to acquire the “Mother Load” of gravel without adhering to the processes and regulations of the county and state. It appears the county is working to avoid public inputs and be shut down as happened in Bondurant. Gravel pits (small-mining operations) are plagued with visual, noise, access and air pollution (dust) issues.
The proposed small mining operation location is surrounded by three subdivisions: Old Brazzill, Rendezvous, and East 40. Two of the subdivisions are within 1,500 feet of the proposed small-mining operations. Currently the parcel is zoned Agriculture A-1. The property is located adjacent to Highway 191 and south of the Pole Creek Road.
The county appears to be rushing to expend taxpayer funds without adhering to the following processes and regulations:
Sublette County Zoning and Development Regulation Resolution 2019: Section 28, Paragraph F. “Only projects qualifying as ten (10) acre exemptions from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) or otherwise exempt from regulation by the DEQ shall be permitted. No project shall qualify for a special use permit if it requires a Small Mining permit from the DEQ unless a cooperative regularity agreement between Sublette County and the Wyoming DEQ is reached.”
The proposed small mine is 25 acres, not meeting the 10-acre maximum for exemption.
The parcel is currently zoned Agriculture A-1. Zoning would need to be changed to industrial-small mining operation in accordance with the paragraph above.
Public input would be required.
Wyoming DEQ Small Mining Permit (surface mines of greater than 10 acres requires:
- Permit Wyoming State Statute 35-11-401(j)
- WDEQ Air Quality Division permit
- Property value appraisal
- Current surface land survey
- Geotechnical report (identifying and quantifying mineral deposits)
- Mineral rights ownership deed confirmation
- Stormwater drainage plan
- Wastewater management plan; the site has a natural spring
In addition, Sublette County has multiple well-established commercial gravel pit companies. It appears that the county plans to be in direct competition with the commercial companies. It is proper for a government agency to directly compete with commercial companies offering the same product?
The county’s plan is to expend taxpayers’ funds without public input and ensuring that the required permits can be obtained. I am confident that the county does not want to commit public funds to a project that may not be able to obtain the required permits and public acceptance. No one wants to live next to a small mining operation.
A primary responsibility of the county is the health and welfare of its citizens.
Government agencies must hold themselves to the highest standards by full and transparently adhering to all applicable processes and regulations. Rushing to buy the “Mother Load” of gravel does not hold the county to the highest standards of government.
For the reasons above I am opposed to Sublette County’s plan to expend taxpayer dollars to establish a gravel pit on the Doyle Property.