The Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday to delay a vote on an appeal of the proposed Halvorsen Quarry Reclamation Plan until Jan. 6 and directed staff to gather more information on several issues.
The appeal made by California Trout North Coast manager Darren Mierau and Humboldt Baykeeper in May requested that the plan require a complete erosion and sediment strategy, publicly available independent water testing in Rocky Creek, documentation of appropriated water permits, specified protections for bald eagles and revisions to the plan's Mitigated Negative Declaration.
A staff report from the Planning and Building Department's Planning Division recommended that the board approve the request to include an erosion [sic] independent water testing, but reject the other three.
First District Supervisor Rex Bohn made a motion to deny the appeal in its entirety, but withdrew it after other supervisors expressed the need for more information.
Though some of the appeal's recommendations were left out, Mierau said the plan has “dramatically improved.”
Humboldt Baykeeper policy director Jennifer Kalt said the requests are not an effort to shut down the quarry.
”We're trying to ensure that the proper permits are in place and the proper steps are taken,” she said.
The reclamation plan for the quarry states that it has been mined intermittently since the 1940s, with future phases including the stripping of topsoil, drilling exposed rock and blasting. All surface water in the quarry is diverted to a series of settlement ponds that capture sediment and debris run-off.
Third District Supervisor Mark Lovelace said that the meeting was “clouded” with information that was irrelevant to the issue.
”I didn't hear any different evidence as to why we should deny those recommendations made by the staff,” Lovelace said.