As published in the Gettysburg Times / Letter to the Editor - January 2019
There have been new developments since the first informal hearing which was held July 23, 2018
1) SGI has acknowledged that the Catoctin Formation metabasalt rock (greenstone) they blast and grind into roof granules naturally contains a very dangerous form of asbestos. This Actinolite asbestos occurs in bands and striations within the rock, and also in large crystalline deposits. This is not commercial or “white asbestos” which accounts for 97 percent of known asbestos. This is Amphibole asbestos which is found in igneous rock, and when disturbed produces small needle-like fibers which can lodge deeply in the lungs. SGI responded to this information by conducting an extremely simple and unrecognized open-air test for fibers which does not meet any official standard (and yet even this test found fibers). Since asbestos fibers, once airborne, can drift miles from their original location, this presents a public health concern not only for workers but also for both Adams and Franklin Counties.
2) The tragic division within the community which occurred in 2011 with the DCNR-SGI land swap and which made people feel like they had to choose between supporting High Quality water or supporting miners jobs, is now recognized by many to have been caused by SGI’s threat to close down unless they got their way. This kind of manipulation/blackmail is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Given that SGI owns or has contracts to mine on approximately 1400 acres of metabasalt and has invested millions into their infrastructure, no jobs will be lost and no tax revenue lost if this permit for 66 acres is denied. Both the miners and the community should reject being pawns in this game of divide and conquer. We can have clean water and jobs, and we can insist together for safer mining for people and the environment!
SGI PUBLIC HEARING
SGI public hearing for a discharge permit to Tom’s creek.
You have until February 13 to submit comments. Please refer to: Large Non-Coal Surface Mining Permit No. 01180301
Via Email Submit comments to:
Comments can be emailed to:
Rock Martin (permit chief) at email@example.com
Chad Paronish (lead permit reviewer) at firstname.lastname@example.org
Via USPS Submit comments to:
Cambria District Mining Office / District Mining Operations
Department of Environmental Protection
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Attn: Daniel Sammarco, P.E., District Mining Manager
Rock Martin, P. G., Permit Chief
286 Industrial Park Road
Ebensburg, Pennsylvania 15931
Protect Tom’s Creek From Hazardous Mountaintop Removal
RECENT BIRDSEYE VIEW OF SGI’s CHARMIAN FACILITY
This video speaks volumes about the fate awaiting Pine Hill (which can be seen in the background). It also speaks to the vulnerability of Toms Creek - when you see what has happened to Miney Branch after degradation by SGI.
Learn more about the issues! Read SGI's response to comments made during the DEP hearing in July.
SEEKS SAFER MINING
Letter to the Editor, Gettysburg Times,
Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, at 6:30 pm Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection will be holding a formal hearing at the Fairfield Fairfield Fire and EMS Building, 106 Steelman Street, Fairfield. This is the second hearing on Specialty Granules’ (SGI/ISP) request for a new major non-coal quarry to be sited north of their current Pitts Quarry operation:
About Tom's Creek
Tom's Creek is a pristine trout stream that is located in the headwaters of the Potomac River Watershed. It originates along South Mountain in south central Pennsylvania within Michaux State Forest and flows southward through Adams County to join the Monocacy River in Frederick County, Maryland.
You can help by volunteering with us, making a contribution, or
by simply enjoying this pristine natural resource.
Friends of Tom’s Creek
P.O. Box 611
Fairfield, PA 17320-0611
"The mission of Friends of Tom's Creek is to protect, preserve, enhance and restore the natural, scenic, historic and aesthetic resources within the Tom's Creek watershed."
How to Get Involved
You can help by volunteering with us, making a contribution, or by simply enjoying the pristine natural resource known as Tom's Creek.
Thank you for your support!