CHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) Neighbors living close to a proposed rock quarry in Chester County say they don’t want it in their community, citing concerns the quarry could impact their health, their property value, and their way of life.
Virginia-based Luck Companies is eyeing a 300-acre site off of Highway 9 in Chester County for a rock quarry. Luck Stone, which is a part of Luck Companies, produces gravel, sand and crushed stone. The company has several quarries throughout Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, including one in Kershaw.
“This isn’t just a business that we’re proposing to bring to Chester,” said Ben Thompson, who is the Director of Land and Development for Luck Companies, “We want to bring ourselves, we want to bring ideas.”
If approved, Luck Stone’s next project would bring 15 to 25 jobs to Chester County. The initial investment for phase one of the project would be between $17 million and $20 million, with a long-term investment of up to $55 million.
Thompson says they also plan to designate two properties on the site for industrial and economic development, and they will help recruit businesses to the area.
“Those will be businesses that will be recruited in, and not currently in the county,” said Thompson, “We find that when we work with communities to help recruit outside companies, we’re able to continue the growth pattern.”
But Frances and Don Foster, who live less than a mile from the proposed rock quarry site, say they are not on board with the project.
“In our neighborhood sometimes it’s so peaceful and quiet that it’s deafening,” said Don, “And we love it.”
The Fosters are Chester County natives, and bought their home on Hallow Road when they got married more than 30 years ago. Three decades and several children and grandchildren later, they say they are fighting to save the peace and quiet that brought them to the neighborhood.
“My question to county council,” said Frances Foster, “If they lived in our neighborhood, would they want this company to come in? I don’t think they would.”
The Fosters say they’re concerned about noise from blasts and drilling, silica dust and excessive water use required to maintain the quarry.
“They’re going to use 100 thousand gallons of water per day. Where is all that ground water gonna come from? That’s 360 million gallons of water in 10 years.” Said Don Foster.
A few miles away from the Foster’s home, Katherine Belk runs an organic farm started two years ago.
“Our biggest concern is the cyclic dust, and the impact that might have on our crops,” said Belk, saying she’s afraid it could impact the farm’s organic certification.
DHEC is holding a public hearing on the Rock Quarry in Richburg on November 19th. The Fosters says they plan to be there.