UTAH

Public comment period approved for quarry in Parley’s Canyon

May 30, 2023, 6:30 PM | Updated: May 31, 2023, 11:37 am

Traffic travels along I-80 in Salt Lake City's Parleys Canyon....

FILE: Traffic travels along I-80 in Parleys Canyon on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Division of Air Quality has approved a public comment period for a proposed new quarry in Parleys Canyon — the Granite Parleys I-80 South Quarry.

The approval is part of the permitting process that Granite Construction must complete before moving forward.

The agency issued a 400-page report on the project. The main takeaway is that the quarry will have to limit hours of operation to stay within legal air pollution thresholds.

Despite this approval, multiple groups around the valley say they are concerned. These include leaders in Millcreek and Salt Lake County, who have been outspoken about the dust from a limestone quarry, and where in the valley the dust will end up.

The proposed site is three miles east of the entrance to Parley’s Canyon.

Read more about the proposed quarry here.

“Negative for decades and decades to come”

Along with concern about air quality, some say the quarry would be an eyesore. 

Fraser Bullock is leading the effort to bring the Olympics back to Utah. He says this effort would be negatively affected by the quarry.

“So we have the look (of the quarry) which is going to be negative for decades and decades to come,” Bullock told KSL NewsRadio. “The second is air quality. The only way they can suppress the dust and everything, at least to some extent, is by using millions of gallons of water. So bad air, lots of water, and a bad look just doesn’t make any sense to a games when we’re hosting the world.”

An informal group opposed to the quarry, called “Save Parleys,” calls out Granite Construction for having a history with environmental regulations. KSL was able to confirm that statement but also found proof that the company has paid any fines if they were required to do so.

Granite Construction says they win the argument about air quality

Granite Construction said there are good reasons to support the project.

In a statement, the company said their modeling suggests the facility will stay well below federal and state thresholds for air pollution.

They also argue passenger cars and trucks produce much more in the way of emissions than any mining or extraction operations.

Granite said that if they have to truck in the materials rather than mining them locally, that’s more of an impact on air quality.

Finally, the construction company said that while they would have easy access to the freeway, the quarry wouldn’t be visible from the urban area of the canyon.

Beginning May 28, the Division of Air Quality will accept public comments for a period of 30 days.

Related: A major air quality bill just got revived and is passing the Utah legislature

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

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Public comment period approved for quarry in Parley’s Canyon