Issues of the Environment
11:41 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Potential Environmental Impact Of Proposed Sand Mine Near Chelsea

A Ready-Mix concrete company, McCoig Materials, is looking to open up a mine on a site north of Chelsea, between the Waterloo and Pinckney Recreation areas. The area has numerous bodies of water and natural areas that could be impacted by the move. McCoig wants to operate the mine for 22 to 30 years and remove 11 million tons of sand and gravel. 

This week on 89.1 WEMU's Issues of the Environment, Dr. Lynn Walter, Professor Emerita of Geology at the University of Michigan, will discuss the environmental impacts of sand mining and the controversial operation proposed for Lyndon and Scio Townships.

The property where the mine would be located, at 18100 and 18200 M-52

is currently owned by the Donald and Janet L. Cunningham Trust, incorporates one residential house and a cellphone tower. The area also contains a number of wetland areas and Stofer Hill, one of the highest points in Washtenaw County. 

Tim Forell of Forenergy is a consultant for McCoig Materials and says they want to work with the community.  He says they are working on a traffic study and will also do further hydrology testing.

However, Chelsea residents and actor Jeff Daniels have publicly opposed the move, urging officials to reconsider the plan.

Lyndon Township officials will soon decide whether the mine can move forward.

But there’s a Michigan law (Act 110 of 2006 (125.3205)) that limits their ability to decline:

An ordinance shall not prevent the extraction, by mining, of valuable natural resources from any property unless very serious consequences would result from the extraction of those natural resources. Natural resources shall be considered valuable for the purposes of this section if a person, by extracting the natural resources, can receive revenue and reasonably expect to operate at a profit.