In a bitter irony, a mining operation declared dead almost a decade ago—leading to a $28-million court judgment against county taxpayers—apparently now is alive, well and ready to begin blasting operations.
Shocked and outraged county officials learned last week that Material Service has transferred its mining permit for 320 acres three miles south of Oologah to APAC-Central Inc., which plans to begin limestone mining there later this year.
“The board (of county commissioners) takes this very, very seriously,” said Assistant District Attorney David Iski, the board’s legal advisor.
A legal notice was published Jan. 6 and 13 in The Claremore Daily Progress announcing the proposal to transfer a permit from Material to APAC “for mining limestone through the surface mining method” and giving those who might be adversely affected 14 days to file comments, protests or requests for informal meetings with the Department of Mines.
The mining permit was officially transferred March 5, said Bret Sholar, environmental analyst/ecologist for the Department of Mines.
Residents near the mine site and county officials weren’t aware of the new activity involving the mine site, however, until a week or two ago when neighbors began receiving a letter dated June 7 from White Industrial Seismology, Inc.
The Joplin-based company said it had been hired to conduct tests on the neighboring properties.
Material, APAC and the mining commission did not contact the county about the new plan, said Iski and Larry Curtis, new director of the Planning and Zoning Commission. It isn’t clear that they had any obligation to do so.
No matter how much new information comes out because of the transfer, Iski noted, the legal case involving Material and the county is closed and cannot be reopened.
Read more details in this week’s Oologah Lake Leader, now in stores, or take a free look at the new E-Leader.
HEre’s a link to the new E-Leader http://etypeservices.com/Oologah%20Lake%20LeaderID268/