RDU Airport and Wake Stone plan to build a quarry on the publicly owned land that borders Umstead State Park and the East Coast Greenway. This is one of the most used recreation corridors in the Triangle. The RDU Airport Authority manages this public land, but they have overstepped their authority. So it’s up to us to help local government do the right thing and #StopRDUQuarry.

Why? Because the agreement between the RDU Airport Authority and Wake Stone is a lease in name only, it is effectively a sale. It leaves the 4 local governments that own the property with a perpetual liability (a 400′ deep hole in the ground).

There is a better alternative.

The Conservation Fund has offered to buy the land — 105 acres known as the Oddfellows tract — from RDU to expand Umstead State Park. The intention is to use the Oddfellows tract and nearby portions of Umstead State Park for trails.

The video below from the RDU Forest coalition helps explain what is at stake, and why we are advocating for an alternative.

What else can we do?

TORC and The Umstead Coalition have filed a lawsuit. And we are trying to get our members and anyone else who will join us to contact local government officials and to sign the petition.

Public Comments are Needed

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) must deny the mining permit application due to significant environmental harm caused to Umstead State Park, recreational users, and homeowners along Old Reedy Creek Road. Public comments are needed and essential to show reasons for denial. By State Law, the mining permit can be denied for any of the five following reasons:

  • Adverse effect on the purposes of a publicly owned park, forest or recreation area
  • Adverse effects on potable groundwater supplies, wildlife or freshwater
  • Violating standards of air quality, surface water quality, or groundwater quality
  • Hazard to public health and safety
  • Hazard to a neighboring dwelling house, school, church, commercial or industrial building, public road or other public property

So, this is where you come in. The Umstead Coalition has set up an easy way for you to send a letter on-line, to help the effort. Your letter will be sent to the offices of DEQ, Governor Cooper and all local elected officials in Durham and Wake County and the Cities of Raleigh and Durham. This might sound hard, but it’s not! Just be sure to make your comments relate to one of the above five reasons for denial. If you have any questions, ask us!

Seen the #StopRDUQuarry signs?

Wondering what it’s all about? What if there was a movie that explained all of it? There is much more to this true story than a simple business arrangement between RDU Airport and Wake Stone Quarry. The documentary “400 Feet Down: Misguided Authority and the Fight to #StopRDUQuarry” tells this story.

And what about the Sunset Clause?

The current Wake Stone quarry adjacent to Umstead State Park had their original Mining Permit 92‐10 approved in 1981 with a 50-year Sunset Clause. After 50 years, in 2031, Wake Stone was to donate the land to the State and all mining operations would cease.

But wait!

Upon Public Records examination of the Permit files for Mining Permit 92‐10 on November 6, 2018, The Umstead Coaliton discovered an unexpected and disturbing Permit Modification that was made by an internal “administrative text change.” In March 2018, under an Interim Director in charge of the mining permits, the Sunset Clause was removed per an email request by Wake Stone Corporation. They said the Sunset Clause was a “typo”.  This modification was made without notice to NC State Parks or the affected public, residences or businesses. 

The Umstead Coalition believes Wake Stone did this to enable the “expansion” of their existing permit, to mine the Odd Fellows Tract.

So, what do you think? Tell the Governor.

And follow and share #StopRDUQuarry on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!