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Callanan Shuts Down Local Operation as State Awaits Blasting Info

The state Department of Environmental Conservation wants more information from Callanan Industries before it sets conditions allowing the company to resume blasting operations at its quarry off state Route 32.

Wendy Rosenbach, a spokeswoman for the state agency, said Wednesday that Callanan has not provided details of changes it needs to make to stay within permitted limits.

“We did send them a (notice of violation), and we’re waiting on a response,” she said.

Helen Duda, a mined land reclamation specialist for the state agency, ordered Callanan Industries on May 10 to cease blasting based on decibel readings taken two days earlier. Duda said the permitted limit of 133 decibels was exceeded at two measuring points on neighboring properties.

Reached by telephone Wednesday, Callanan Industries Senior Vice President Charles Stokes said the company has promised state officials it will change blasting contractors and add a seismograph. He said operations at the site, which produces limestone and blacktop, have ended and the company’s 25 employees are being told the facility is being shut down for now.

“We have no materials left to operate our crushing plant,” he said. “Unless we have a product there available for crushing, we can’t run.”

Opponents of the mining operation, meanwhile, are seeking more information about the magnitude of blasts based on ground vibrations. In a May 11 letter to state officials, attorney Steven Herrick said details of seismographs should be released to determine if equipment has been correctly placed.

“There is widespread doubt that the placing of seismometers by Callanan and/or its contractors is calculated to reveal accurate … readings from Callanan’s blasts,” he said. “We believe that DEC must take tighter control of the procedures that result in these measurements.”

Herrick, who represents mine neighbor Tina Carpino, said the blasting is moving closer to residential structures.

“There is considerable concern that insufficient attention is being paid to the setback requirements in the permit,” he said. “We ask that DEC confirm that Callanan has been operating in compliance with these restrictions.”

Rosenbach said the comments are being reviewed to determine the agency’s response.

“Mining staff will look at the letter and respond relatively soon,” she said. “We will be looking into it.”


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