Rock crushing causes dust-up - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Rock crushing causes dust-up

Neighbors dislike hours of operation, noise at facility

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Posted: Thursday, August 23, 2012 12:15 am

A group of Kootenai County residents is protesting a new rock crushing operation in their neighborhood, which they say has plagued them with dust, noise and all-night operations.

There has also been a run-in between workers and neighbors over alleged gunshots.

"We're trying to find someone who's on our side," said Angie Squires, who lives across the street from the fenced operation on Ohio Match Road, just west of Old Highway 95.

She and several neighbors are arranging a meeting with at least 30 others, she said, and they plan to submit a petition against the operation to the county commissioners.

"It just baffles me there's nothing we could do to stop them from running 24/7," Squires said.

That might be the case, though.

The crushing operation by Lewiston company DeAtley Crushing, conducted on 5 acres owned by Washington-based Terra5 Company, LLC, has every right to be there, said Scott Clark with county Community Development.

The acreage is zoned mining, Clark said, on which a permit isn't needed for rock crushing.

The property was given the zoning in the '70s, he added, predating noise restrictions and development agreements that can establish such specific limitations.

There is also no limit on hours of operation on the zoned acreage, Clark confirmed.

"It's kind of a tough situation," Clark said, adding that the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality still monitors dust. "I offer kind of the same advice we often give neighbors, if it's possible to talk and see if they can work out some of the differences."

Squires and several neighbors report that the rock crushing began a few weeks ago, with no notice beforehand.

They have said the crushing is pervasively loud, and has blown excessive dust onto their properties and sometimes impaired their sight driving nearby.

Operations last as late as midnight to 2 a.m., they said.

"We are just very upset. The noise is just horrible, along with the dust," Squires said. "At night, you can't open the windows to let cool air in. You can just taste the dust when this is going on."

Wayne Cramer, who lives on Ramsey Road about a quarter mile away, said the noise has prevented him from sleeping before he gets up for work at 4 a.m.

His complaints to the crew have been unheeded, he said.

"That's why people bought in this area, they want to keep their quiet and be left alone," Cramer said. "We're just trying to get them to where they'll run at a decent hour and run water suppression systems, where there's not a giant plume hitting you when you drive."

Another neighbor, Sharron Simon, who lives within a quarter mile of the site, said she didn't mind a previous crushing operation there many years ago that operated from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

"If they worked in the normal working hours, then we wouldn't have a problem," she said.

The DEQ did issue DeAtley a warning notice on Aug. 15 about dust violations.

Squires said the dust has since reduced in the day, but only increases again in the evening.

Cramer also called the sheriff's department last Monday evening over two gunshots he heard north of the crushing equipment.

Cramer believed the shots were fired by a frustrated neighbor, according to the sheriff's report, but he was more troubled by the noise and dust from the site.

DeAtley site superintendent Anthony Forsyth is quoted in the report that he has permits to operate "24/7 if I want to."

After an officer spoke to both Cramer and Forsyth, the report states, "both were much less agitated and were no longer screaming at one another."

Forsyth agreed with an officer's request to operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., according to the report, but Squires said the equipment still starts long before and continues long after those hours.

The Idaho Department of Lands confirmed the operation's permit is valid until reclamation is completed.

Lt. Stu Miller with the sheriff's department said the neighbors could file charges against DeAtley for disturbing the peace, but there is no certainty the Prosecutor's Office will prosecute.

A DeAtley spokesperson did not return messages.

According to the Washington Secretary of State's website, Terra5 Company, LLC has the same governing agents as the Scarsella Brothers, Inc., also a Washington company.

The Scarsella Brothers' office said the individual with all knowledge of the project is on vacation and could not be reached.

The neighbors don't want to stop businesses from functioning, Cramer emphasized.

"It's all about being a good neighbor and having some respect for people around you," he said.

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17 comments:

  • JoeIdaho posted at 9:27 am on Sun, Aug 26, 2012.

    JoeIdaho Posts: 2841

    And I agree with Concerned, this is the same kind of thing that happened with McKuen, and with Camp Easton, and with Gozzer's changing the zoning n Squaw Bay to allow for what they wanted to build.

     
  • concernedcitizen posted at 7:47 am on Sun, Aug 26, 2012.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    I have to agree with bammie21.

    This lye's all on the backs of the planning and zoning for allowing a self serving land raping developer to come in and subdivide without disclosure. All the county can see is tax dollars going into their coffers and buyer beware and buyer be D@MNED.

    It is not the businesses fault. It is not the home owners fault. It is our elected officials That allows for big government without representation nor doing their jobs.

     
  • JoeIdaho posted at 7:47 am on Sun, Aug 26, 2012.

    JoeIdaho Posts: 2841

    Jr said:

    "A good reason to check the ZONING in the area, before you buy a residential or even commerical property. Realtors and sellers should be required by law, to provide this information to buyers, in disclosure"
    Realtors AND Sellers are required by law, currently; to and do disclose Zoning on the property that is being purchased, only. They aren't required to investigate what the zoning is on properties adjacent to the one being sold, as that's NOT the property being represented. I disagree that they should be "required by law to" investigate the properties surrounding or in the vicinity of the one that is for sale. The "ZONING in the area" around most any Rural home is going to be Rural Residential, as a generality. What would be the "Zone" of "investigation" and what if there's a property owned by a logging company 2 miles away? This gets disclosed, right? So, now; we need another form for a Buyer that releases ther Realtor from liability in the event that the logging company logs their property?

    "Why would anyone continue with a purchase of a residential property located in a flood zone"?
    People buy properties in flood zones all the time, with full knowedge of it. NOT unusual. River cabins, waterfront homes, it happens. People LIKE the water.

    "Application for insurance should have been made with the "Inspection Period. Usually ten day"
    People generally don't make an application for insurance until after their loan is approved. Most times, they use the same carrier that has insured the home for the previous Owner/seller.

    "If an agent was invovled, the agent has access to these maps, and any professional agent would know they are showing property in a flood zone to their buyer"
    Actually, everyone has "access to these maps" and flood mapping changes all the time. In order to confirm what is "flood zone" without liability, you need a flood plain expert, (see $5-10,000) otherwise the mapping itself is not considered to be wholly accurate. I know this as I have sold properties on the Joe, CDA, Pack & Moyie & Spokane Rivers that have had issues, all addressed prior to the sale. It is NOT as easy or simple as "the Agent should know" as Jr portends.

    "Having the well water tested, should be top priority of anyone purchasing a residential property which obtains its drinking water from a well source. Taking a look at the septic plans (county), and condition should also be a priority, along with checking a flood map"
    What if the water source is city? And what about the septic plans, what makes them "bad" or "good"?
    And you don't get the plans from the County, you get them from Panhandle Health, a STATE of Idaho organization, located on either Atlas or Ramsey Rd.

    "A professional agent should be guiding a buyer through these important steps, and will encourage any buyer to also have a structural inspection prior to purchasing"
    A "structural inspection"?
    Should a Buyer concern themselves with mold or rot; plumbing issues or electrical problems, or heating systems? They have inspections for those too.....

    "As they say, "Buyers are liars, and sellers are worse." Remember that"
    The saying is "Buyers are Liars". "Sellers are worse"? Nope.
    MOST Sellers are pretty truthful; as they don't want to be sued over anything.

    "Unless you are paying for a property entirely with cash, your mortgage lender requires you to obtain committment for property insurance, which includes information regarding proximity to flood zones, and if flood insurance is required by the lender"

    You have (2) different issues of insurance intertwined here:
    What you call "commitment for property insurance" is actually a "commitment for TITLE insurance policy". A TITLE policy is the instrument that a Title Company issues that protects the interests of the property itself; I.E. it has been handed from party to party legally; there are no claims against the property, and it's zoning, easements, restrictions, and taxation. This will also give you Plat Maps on the property that will sometimes, but not always show if the property or part of the property is located in a flood zone. It is the first requirement for any Mortgage Company aside from the Buyer filling out a credit applpication.
    Property insurance on the home is a secondary requirement, also required by the lender, and they do require you to seek & gain PROPERTY insurance, not "commitment for property insurance" in order to close, and the property to be funded. It is up to you, the owner, to disclose to the insurance company if the property is in a flood zone; they will not always research this for you in order to write a policy.
    Commitment for Title Insurance must occur in order for ANY Title Company to transfer the title to any Real Property in the State of Idaho.


    " If the property is in a flood zone, additional insurance is required on residential properties"
    Not true.
    There can be portions of the property that lie in a flood zone & it will have NO effect on or cause "additional insurance". If the HOME itself is located in a flood zone, there wil probably be extra insurance, or a rider necessitated.

    I am in full agreement on the issue of due diligence; I also think that the Buyer should investigate much of this themselves, as it gives much more fundamental belief in what they are Buying. ANYTHING along or near a major corridor, like 95, can & will have it's own set of issues, commercial uses, mining, etc. Same goes for mineral rights in the Silver Valley, and throughout North Idaho. There are a lot of properties here that have had their mineral rights stripped in the last 100 years, but that deosn't mean that someone is going to someday come & mine the property. Mineral rights are NOT the same as something that is ZONED "Mining", both must match in order for "mining" to occur.

    If you're buying a property; go to Kootenai County & investigate it & the surrounding properties as WELL AS government plans for the area in detail before you make an offer. Make your offer contingent on inspection of the home & Title Commitment, and buy Additional Title Insurance. It covers unrecorded Liens against the property, so if the Seller had work done, and the guy who did the work hasn't sued or liened the property yet, you're covered. It costs $220-250.00.

    Then, after an offer has been accepted, take a water sample, REGARDLESS of the source, and take it to Accurate Water testing Labarotories on Prairie Ave for testing, it will cost you $100.00 for a FULL lab test, including hardness. Test for more than just E-Coli.

    Have a Homeowners Inspection completed by Certified Inspectors on everything in the home; as well as a septic inspection. Go to Panhandle Health & get a copy of the septic installation report, so you know where the septic tank & leech field are located. If you buy a house where there is no report; either the system is too old or it was never permitted, the septic pumping company can show you where it's located. Doesn't mean it's bad or unuseable, just old.


     
  • bammie21 posted at 12:41 pm on Fri, Aug 24, 2012.

    bammie21 Posts: 2

    captnbutch:

    The huge rock crushing operation that inundated us had massive dust and DeAtley KNEW the EPA wouldn't come so far to check it in the afternoons so they broke all rules. The dust was horrible and DeAtley Rock Crushing actually stepped things up as late afternoon and evening and night progressed when darkness fell and the dust was hard to see........even though if we went outside, we could feel it in our noses and mouths and lungs. I also took video of it with my night vision cam corder.
    My big issue is that Idaho County should have CHOSEN whether or not they wanted this sub division or a rock pit. This new pit is 250 yds from our home. Sub divisions are meant to have homes built on them and inhabited by humans. Rock crushing and it's NOISE AND DUST are very damaging to all human and animal life and have no place being adjacent to each other. This is 250 yds from our homes!!!!!! The county is reaping the benefits of us in the subdivision paying property taxes; they are obligated to protect the people paying them. They will not even reduce our assessments to meet the reduction in value of our homes which has resulted from this. We can't even sell our homes. When that is running we lose every single property right to which we are entitled to by law.

     
  • bammie21 posted at 12:26 pm on Fri, Aug 24, 2012.

    bammie21 Posts: 2

    My husband and I fully understand the plight of these poor residents. We moved to Idaho in 2004 after he retired. We bought 10 acres in a county approved subdivision near Kooskia, ID in, dreadfully, Idaho County. Everything was heaven on earth until Friday, Feb 20, 2009 when at about 6 pm we heard a horrible noise and went outside. It was a huge rock crushing operation operated by DeAtley Rock Crushing as a sub contractor for Knife River Corp. and to make a long story shorter, they ran the monster an average of about 21 hr a day for 10 solid weeks, sans breakdowns and one time burying the crusher with an overboard blasting. This was located a mere 250 yds from our home. Noise, particulate matter (granular dust) which was not controlled. The EPA said they had a plan in writing so they were operating legally. I have video proof they were not following their "plan". The EPA would not come out to do surprise checks on them.
    Yes, I am living proof that NOISE AND DUST are both harmful to humans and animals alike. Sleep deprivation causes immense health issues including, but not limited to blood pressure problems; breathing the granular dust is very harmful and won't leave the lungs.
    This monster came back for 3 wks about July 28, 2010......3 days after we returned from a 2 month cross country rv trip. Mostly they ran it from about 6 a.m. til 1 a.m. this time.
    Idaho is supposed to be one of the last places in America where property rights are relished. Well, that is ONLY TRUE IF YOU ARE MAKING MONEY ON YOUR PROPERTY FOR A BUSINESS REGARDLESS OF REMOVING EVERY RIGHT A HOMEOWNER SHOULD HAVE; EVEN THE BASIC HUMAN NEED OF SLEEP.
    This has made it very difficult to sell our home as we want to get out of a place that has no respect for our well being. We would never have bought and settled here had this information been disclosed to us at the time we were looking to buy. There had never ever been a rock crushing operation at the site they used . They turned a pristeen hillside into about an 800' cliff now. When they operate it reverberates back and forth between the cliff, the hills around us and our shop located on the opposite side of our house which is taller than our house.
    For those of you who have not gone thru it, do not speak ill of something if you have never experienced it. It is H**L ON EARTH.

     
  • Joseph Jr posted at 8:08 am on Fri, Aug 24, 2012.

    Joseph Jr Posts: 512

    TRUTH,

    Why would anyone continue with a purchase of a residential property located in a flood zone? Application for insurance should have been made with the "Inspection Period." Usually ten days.

    If an agent was invovled, the agent has access to these maps, and any professional agent would know they are showing property in a flood zone to their buyer.

    Having the well water tested, should be top priority of anyone purchasing a residential property which obtains its drinking water from a well source. Taking a look at the septic plans (county), and condition should also be a priority, along with checking a flood map.

    A professional agent should be guiding a buyer through these important steps, and will encourage any buyer to also have a structural inspection prior to purchasing.

    As they say, "Buyers are liars, and sellers are worse." Remember that.

     
  • Joseph Jr posted at 7:58 am on Fri, Aug 24, 2012.

    Joseph Jr Posts: 512

    TRUTH,

    Unless you are paying for a property entirely with cash, your mortgage lender requires you to obtain committment for property insurance, which includes information regarding proximity to flood zones, and if flood insurance is required by the lender. If the property is in a flood zone, additional insurance is required on residential properties. Also, a CLUE Report is run on the property, to determine if there have been past fires, floods, or insurance settlements tied to the property. Many a seller is caught flat out lying, regarding disclosure. (They forgot to mention the kitchen was flooded 6 years ago, or something like that. Before a carrier will insure a property and a lender wants to loan you money, they want to be as certain as possible, that the property is without mold, structural defects, etc.)

    I know of no person who has been able to purchase a property with a mortgage, without first applying for insurance and receiving a committment ,which is then sent to the title company, and the first year paid at close of escrow. Then, just like with taxes an impound account is set up.

    In other words, a lender is not going to loan money unless the property is insured from the moment it closes escrow. So, a BUY would KNOW if the property was in a flood zone.

     
  • LMYCDA posted at 4:54 am on Fri, Aug 24, 2012.

    LMYCDA Posts: 2288

    See there you go again with all the pent up anger, JW.

     
  • Truth or Fiction posted at 4:35 pm on Thu, Aug 23, 2012.

    Truth or Fiction Posts: 6

    Zoning laws and escrow revelations are supposed to protect us. I know people that bought homes right in Cd'A and later found that they were in a flood zone, (15th St. & the Cherry Hill low spot). It didn't show up until they made application for insurance. As long as money means more than anything else, the growing pains will just continue. I nearly agree with angry NIdaho though, when we own land to live on, we ought to be able to do as we please so long as it does not bother anyone else outside or off our property. That includes down winders and water users we might affect through ground water contamination.

     
  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 3:25 pm on Thu, Aug 23, 2012.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    Anger? What Anger? I stated truth, that it angered you is your management problem not mine. Personally I find these situations humorous and quite telling of the mentality of the ME! ME! ME! complainers that are infesting our society today.

     
  • angryNIdaho posted at 1:37 pm on Thu, Aug 23, 2012.

    angryNIdaho Posts: 81

    WE DON'T NEED ZONING! Gunshots and screaming matches notwithstanding.

     
  • LMYCDA posted at 12:20 pm on Thu, Aug 23, 2012.

    LMYCDA Posts: 2288

    "your life" might get better.

     
  • LMYCDA posted at 12:20 pm on Thu, Aug 23, 2012.

    LMYCDA Posts: 2288

    JW you are such an angry man and seems without any feelings for others. Every time you post your anger comes out. Have you ever thought about anger management classes. I think it do you a world of good. Give it a try and maybe you life might get better.

     
  • Joseph Jr posted at 9:23 am on Thu, Aug 23, 2012.

    Joseph Jr Posts: 512

    QUOTE:
    The acreage is zoned mining, Clark said, on which a permit isn't needed for rock crushing.

    The property was given the zoning in the '70s, he added, predating noise restrictions and development agreements that can establish such specific limitations.

    There is also no limit on hours of operation on the zoned acreage, Clark confirmed."

    A good reason to check the ZONING in the area, before you buy a residential or even commerical property. Realtors and sellers should be required by law, to provide this information to buyers, in disclosure.

    In this case, it was zoned in the 70's. No one checked?

     
  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 8:36 am on Thu, Aug 23, 2012.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    OH BOO HOO, That area has been mixed use for along time. That it is just now starting to effect the livelihood of the area makes you lucky, not afflicted. If you bought after the Zoning change, Buyer beware. If you were there before, you had your chance to fight the zone change and either lost or didn't care, so to bad.

    It's like buying property on a dirt road and complaining about dust, want some cheese with that whine?

     
  • LMYCDA posted at 7:32 am on Thu, Aug 23, 2012.

    LMYCDA Posts: 2288

    All Washington companies.......I wonder how many Idaho people they are employing? Or, are all the employees Washington residents. I believe the latter. Sounds like those working there don't really care about their neighbors, but why would they? If they are all Washington residents.

     
  • capnbutch posted at 6:23 am on Thu, Aug 23, 2012.

    capnbutch Posts: 729

    Interesting. Rock crushing itself does not generally raise much dust or create much noise. Must be unusual conditions of the dirt.

    Sometimes things like this just have to be done no matter how uncomfortable they are for everybody. If the noise bothers us, we just have to think how much greater are the sacrifices of the workers than our own. It is long, hard shifts at tough hours. They work their hearts out to give us better lives.

    Rock crushing is a fine tradition and we would have no four-story buildings without it. I remember one fellow demanding that another "take your crushing somewhere else." The response was,"Sure, as long as you promise never to use the fruits of my labor." As we all run out of world, these conflicts will become more difficult but will remain just as innocent.

    The science of crushing is absolutely amazing. You learn much. It is not just geology and metallurgy but physics and chemistry as well. Crushing is far from mere muscle work but a vast collection of sciences.

    Some crushing machines produce random shards. Others create "cubicular crush" that makes concrete much stronger. Cubicular has many new uses and opens ways for more people to live in peace on the planet.

    Simply amazing!

     
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