Opinion: Before this limestone quarry moves forward, here’s what you should know about the dust
The limestone quarry in Parleys Canyon could have health and environmental impacts all residents should be aware of
The proposed 20-acre limestone quarry in Parleys Canyon has raised concerns among residents and conservation groups over potential health risks and environmental impact. The quarry aims to become a 600-plus-acre project, but there are significant concerns that must be addressed before moving forward.
Open-pit limestone quarries produce large volumes of fugitive dust, posing a risk to air quality and public health. The State of Utah Division of Air Quality doesn’t enforce dust control when wind speeds exceed 25 mph, at night, or when the mine is not in operation, and operator dust control records are not available to the public.
The quarry’s proximity to schools raises significant concerns about children’s health, and if a bill is passed to allow the quarry to operate, property owners and residents may be able to pursue litigation if the quarry damages property or harms health.
The city of Millcreek collected dust samples from the Canyon Rim neighborhood, which were analyzed for Strontium isotopes at the University of Utah Stable Isotope Laboratory. The samples were found to be composed of 60% of the signatures matching that of the Twin Creek limestone being crushed by the Kilgore Quarry and potentially the I-80 south quarry in Parleys. The dust generated by the proposed quarry can be accurately traced to its source, which is crucial information for property owners and residents in nearby communities.
The state of Utah must act responsibly to address significant concerns and impacts before allowing this project to move forward, and any development that could compromise public health and the environment must be carefully scrutinized.
Kyle Gerard Brennan
Salt Lake City