Carolina Sunrock’s plan to build a proposed rock quarry in Caswell County has left residents of both Caswell and neighboring Person County a little worried about the water supply.
The mining company out of Raleigh is currently seeking permits from the state to operate the mine on 630 acres off Wrenn Road.
The property is located next to creeks and intermittent streams that feed Lake Roxboro.
The lake is a secondary source of drinking water for the city’s 4,500 water customers.
Scott Martino, manager of environmental compliance for Sunrock, understands residents’ worries, but also wants them to know the company takes its environmental responsibility seriously.
“Carolina Sunrock is committed to minimizing the environmental impacts on the communities in which we work,” Martino said. “We remain in close contact with the city of Roxboro, who manages the lake, throughout this process.”
“In addition, we will utilize extensive storm water engineering design protocols in order to protect Roxboro Lake and its associated streams. This plan exceeds North Carolina Division of Environment Quality (NCDEQ) permitting standards.”
Martino also said the company has designated 100-foot undisturbed buffers surrounding all major streams bordering their property to ensure the protection of water quality.
In addition, Martino also said the company will stay in strict compliance with state laws concerning water sampling.
Water contamination isn’t the only type of pollution that has Caswell and Roxboro residents concerned, though. Talking with several residents, who wished to remain anonymous, also revealed many are worried about the noise such a project will bring.
Once again, though, the company will work closely with city, county and state officials in ensuring noise will be kept at a necessary minimum.
“We are committed to minimizing impacts on the environment and local community,” Martino said. “Federal and state governments set strict limits and conduct regular noise monitoring in and around the county. We will adhere to truck, plant, equipment, maintenance and repurchasing schedules to ensure less engine noise and running emissions.”
Two-hundred foot buffers, which exceed the state’s regulatory requirements, will be placed around the company’s operations and there will be no plant equipment present or used within 300 feet of the nearest property boundary. These buffers, according to Martino, will help keep noise pollution at bay.
Many of the roads throughout Caswell and Person County are two-lane roads with little space. In addition, many of these roads were not built to handle heavy equipment trucks and the combination of the two possible dilemmas have provided a source of concern for residents as well.
Carolina Sunrock operates under a simple core value of “Do the Right Thing,” which according to Martino, shows the company’s commitment to the safety of the residents in which it works.
“It portrays our commitment to the safety and environmental stewardship of our employees, partners and the community,” Martino said. “Carolina Sunrock regularly maintains our fleet to ensure they are safe and clean.”
Martino added that the company’s trucks are equipped with a Lytx DriveCam system that helps their drivers operate at maximum safety levels. The company also regularly maintains the system, once again ensuring the trucks don’t pose any kind of threat.
In regards to the proposed Prospect Hill Quarry and Distribution Center, Martino ensures residents the company will stay in compliance with federal and state regulations.
“We manage and maintain compliance with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration,” Martino added. “Under MSHA, our quarry facilities must comply with highly stringent safety regulations and are subject to mandatory, semi-annual inspections.”
“MSHA regulations address guarding of equipment, electrical hazards, noise, dust and our employee training program and record keeping and more.”
With the housing market slowly creeping back following the 2007 recession, residents are also concerned the facility will have an effect on their property values.
Martino pointed residents towards a 2018 study conducted by the Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal and Economic Public Policy study that concluded quarry operations have little to no effect on property values.
Lastly, Martino reminded residents the company looks to bring 23 to 27 new jobs to the area, with the median salary starting at around $50,000 for skilled quarry workers.
The local company also takes it’s philanthropic duties seriously and makes sure it’s an active member of the communities in which they operate.
“Carolina Sunrock is an employee-driven corporate citizen in the communities we service,” Martin said. “Our team plans activities that involve our employees and their families such as the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, tree planting/litter pickups, fishing and golf tournaments.”
“Carolina Sunrock is active in many community events, such as annual holiday parades in the areas we serve. We are also committed to supporting our local schools, community colleges and non-profits through hands on volunteerism, donations and fundraising.”