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Mining company gets OK to start quarry work in Duarte

September 21, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A court ruling has allowed a company to start mining in an Azusa rock quarry in the city of Duarte, but city officials say their battle to shut them down is far from over.

Now that the city of Duarte has lost its 2-1/2-year court battle to stop the mining, it has hired a company to install a monitor to measure air quality near the site.

Duarte tried to stop Vulcan Materials Company from mining granite on its property in Azusa Canyon. The mining site is in the hills above Duarte.

"While you're mining this, you have dust emissions and particulate emissions and silica emissions, so I think from a health standpoint for the lungs of our young people growing up, we want to make sure it does meet standards," said Duarte City Councilmember John Fasana.

Some Duarte residents didn't like the idea of mining being done near their homes.

"They do it up here on Azusa Canyon. They've been mining up there for a long time, so I guess they need more space, but I'd prefer they stay out of our hills really," said James Micheil of Duarte.

The city paid around $40,000 dollars to have a monitor placed near the mining site to measure air quality. The city is working with the South Coast Air Quality Management District, which will be placing a second monitor in Azuza.

"We have inspectors that go onto the site unannounced to make sure that all their equipment is performing as it should, their air pollution control devices are minimizing emissions and also with our air monitors continuously monitoring and posting the results on the websites for people to see," said Sam Atwood with AQMD.

In a written statement to Eyewitness News, the Alabama-based Vulcan Materials Company said:

"We welcome monitoring and working with the AQMD, as we are confident in our operations and the environmental management systems we have put in place to safeguard human health."

The monitors will in place right when the mining project is set to begin in a month.


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