Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

April 4, 2017
Gravel pit moratorium

Tooele County needs to issue a county-wide moratorium on new gravel pits. There are numerous reasons why this needs to happen. I wish to address two of them.

County citizens have to tolerate the nuisance of neighboring gravel pits. A county residential home is protected from all kinds of nuisances such as excessive light, noise, smell, and even neighbors’ animals’ activities. Yet, a gravel pit located near a residential area is somehow immune from being a nuisance. Gravel pit owners argue that this is why they submit operation plans. But even if every nuisance were specified and mitigated in the operation plan the county has no current means to enforce a violated plan.

County citizens have to be exposed to hazardous material produced by gravel pits. Hazardous waste facilities are required by federal, state and local laws to emit zero carcinogenic (cancer causing) particulate matter. These facilities are required by the county to be at least 5 miles from the nearest residence. Yet, gravel pits can be as close as 30 feet from a home.

Gravel pits near Tooele County’s residential areas are public nuisances and are a major health concern. I ask that the Tooele County Commissioners issue a one-year moratorium on new gravel pits and gravel pit expansions, allowing ordinances to be put into law that protect the public.

Josh Maher

South Rim

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