(02/20/2006)
Kanawha circuit court judge Paul Zakaib has overturned a 2003 decision by the state Surface Mine Board that upheld the denial of a permit for a sandstone quarry in Pocahontas County.

The permit has been sought by Glenville businessman and developer I. L. Morris.

Zakaib told the board that it must be more specific about its concerns regarding aesthetics and tourism, indicating regulators were in error ruling against the project.

Waco Oil and Gas of Glenville is seeking the permit to mine a 76-acre quarry along state Route 39 near Huntersville.

The Department of Environmental Protection denied the permit in July 2002, saying that the quarry would affect residents' use and enjoyment of their property, hurt property values and harm the area's scenic beauty.

The Surface Mine Board upheld the DEP decision in 2003.

Zakaib said Waco should be given an opportunity to remedy the concerns since the mine board didn't rule that the area should be listed as ineligible for any mining.

A decision against the project was based on wide-spread opposition to the quarry, including allegations it would create dust along a scenic highway, be an eyesore and affect nearby trout streams.

DEP lawyer Tom Clarke says the agency hasn't decided whether to appeal Zakaib's decision.

Hur Herald News Archives:

7-24-2002 WACO DENIED QUARRY PERMIT - Would Hurt Tourist Area And Trout Stream

1-31-2003 WACO DENIED QUARRY PERMIT - Second Time Around

3-5-2003 WACO WANTS QUARRY DECISION OVERTURNED - State Ruled To Protect Trout Stream And Tourist Area

6-14-2003 WACO TRIES AGAIN TO OPEN STONE QUARRY - Located In Pristine Area


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