York County Citizens Urge Rejection of Massive Rock Quarry
A group of residents and concerned citizens are calling on the York County Zoning Board of Appeals to reject a proposed granite quarry ahead of a January 13 public hearing.
The quarry operators filed a Special Exception application package for the proposed Langham Branch Creek Quarry with York County Zoning Division. The site, located on 1912 Benfield Road, is zoned as an Agricultural Conservation District.
If approved, this project will expand the current site ten times in size, turning the existing 34.4-acre sand mine to a 371.43-acre granite quarry until 2094. This project—which plans to impact 1,832 linear feet of a tributary associated with Fishing Creek and is in the known vicinity of several threatened or endangered species—will contain a 99.78-acre quarry area over 400 feet deep and a processing plant that borders private residences, a family dairy farm, and an industrial park.
More than 1,400 people have signed an online petition in opposition to the proposed quarry. The petition was organized by a group of surrounding property owners who have organized under the name Protect Fishing Creek – No Rock Quarry York County. The group is working to inform the community through in-person meetings, flyers, yard signs, Facebook group/posts, Nextdoor posts, and word of mouth.
“Would you like a quarry in your backyard? We don’t, and we need your help. The negative effects of a quarry will impact our entire community for multiple generations,” said group member Casey Shuler.
The group’s concerns are echoed by the South Carolina Environmental Law Project, a public interest environmental law firm, which submitted a letter (download below) on January 3 to the County over serious concerns about the project’s impacts to surrounding waters and other natural resources.
“My biggest concern is the tributary of Fishing Creek they propose to impact. The loss of nearly 2,000 feet of water is clearly an immense cost for York County,” said SCELP attorney Lauren Megill Milton, who submitted the letter on behalf of the group. “York County must weigh the balance between the quarry’s private gain and the public’s well-being. York is beautiful and my clients want to ensure that future generations can continue to rely on its clean air and waters.”
The group is encouraging the community to express their opposition to the quarry by signing the petition, by writing letters to or calling local representatives and county planning and Zoning officials. Their goal is for the community to be aware of the quarry plans, research the effects a granite mine and how it will affect the community.
"Start your new year on a positive note and help protect Fishing Creek!” Shuler added.