On Oct 4, the Bartow County Planning Commission will hear an application for a proposed limestone quarry off Highway 140, just outside Adairsville city limits. Opponents of the application say that the mining operation could pose threats to property values, traffic safety, and a local endangered plant. The city of Adairsville is also on record opposing this application.
The applicant, Georgia Stone Products, held a community meeting on Sept 21 in an attempt to address residents’ concerns. The company had several experts present, both employees and consultants. However, this meeting had a low turnout, and most attendees said that they were still strongly opposed to the project.
Renae Carlton owns Mosteller’s Mill, a property adjacent to the site of the proposed quarry. An endangered plant species, the Tennessee Yellow-Eyed Grass, is found on this piece of land. Carlton said that she fears the quarry could contaminate the spring that sustains the plant. The presence of Tennessee Yellow-Eyed Grass at Mosteller’s Mill is documented in “The Natural Communities of Georgia”.
Botanist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Lisa Kruse told WBHF, “From our assessment, […] we don’t have any evidence that the quarry, installed as proposed, would negatively impact that particular population of Tennessee Yellow-Eyed Grass or the species.”
Geologist and President of Black Rock Consulting David Bleakman was hired by Georgia Stone Products for this project. He said that, based on his calculations, the quarry would not affect ground water beyond a zone of influence which would not exceed the boundaries of the property.
In an email to WBHF, Bleakman said, “Our point is that [the] GSP mining project will have no effect on those sites. Ponder this. Vulcan has been mining below the water table at their site since 1988. In all the years that Vulcan’s has mined the same geologic unit as GSP intends to mine, there is no evidence that any spring or domestic well has been [affected] because of their operation.”
Bleakman referred to the existing Vulcan Materials site, which shares a property line with the proposed quarry.
Despite this, Carlton said that she remains worried, as she reportedly saw the effects of a previous quarry in Bartow that resulted in sinkholes. Additionally, she said that she can already hear and sometimes feel the blasts from Vulcan, which is further away from Mosteller’s Mill than the potential GSP location.
Other residents have stated that they hear and feel the blasts from the existing mine as well. Locals also expressed concern for the value of nearby homes and businesses.
The Bartow County Planning Commission will hear this application on Oct 4 at 6 p.m. in Top Floor Courtroom D of the Bartow County Courthouse.