HANCOCK COUNTY, Ga. -- Hancock County Commissioner voted against a proposal to place a gravel quarry in Hancock County near the Ogeechee River.
Mayfield Natural Resources, LLC, applied for a special use permit to open a new gravel quarry in the county.
The county held a partial virtual commission meeting and looked at the item that has caused concerns in the community.
The business had their lawyer Glee Smith present the item to commissioners as well as with an engineer to explain the logistics of opening the quarry if approved.
However, concerned citizens and one organization also attended to oppose the proposal.
Ogeechee Riverkeeper opposed the quarry saying it could bring negative effects on water quality and potentially damage the aquifer that locals use for drinking water.
They communicated these fears with residents and created a campaign to prevent the quarry from becoming a part of the county.
This included taking donations to get the word out and a petition that was made that had over 2,000 signatures from those against the quarry.
County Commissioners listened to responses from citizens and representatives from both sides but ultimately decided to vote against the quarry.
The vote was a unanimous decision to deny the proposal with 4-0.
Ogeechee Riverkeeper released the following statement after the vote:
This evening the Hancock County Commission voted to deny the zoning permit application for a proposed quarry. The permit would have allowed Mayfield Natural Resources to open a gravel quarry in Hancock County which would have endangered the health of their community.Ogeechee Riverkeeper (ORK) opposed the quarry development due to its proximity to the Ogeechee River, and possible adverse effects on water quality, potential damage to the aquifer that locals use for drinking water, and likelihood of it becoming a pollution source.In addition, ORK has been working with local residents for the past four months to help citizens mount robust opposition. While residents’ reasons vary, concerns included complications from silica dust, negative health effects to livestock, infrastructure damage, social and housing inequities, disturbance to local businesses and tourism industry, historic property damage, and more.Thank you to Stack and Associates for representing the concerns of ORK and the citizens whose way of life would have been negatively impacted. Thank you to the commissioners for listening to the concerns of their constituents.Thank you to everyone who helped get this across the finish line. Whether you signed the petition, spoke to a neighbor, donated to the effort, or wrote a letter -- it all matters. Your relentless efforts to protect the river and the watershed from dangerous development worked.You helped keep the Ogeechee River clean and safe