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Business and Economy

Maine DEP rejects initial applications for Waldo County granite quarry

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Courtesy of Maine Department of Environmental Protection
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via the Bangor Daily News
The view upriver from the location of a proposed pier on the Penobscot River. The pier would be used by Bowden Point Properties, a Virginia-owned company, to load barges with processed granite taken from Heagan Mountain in Prospect.

Maine's Department of Environmental Protection has rejected the initial applications for a $12 million granite quarry and processing site in Prospect that has generated local opposition.

A Virginia-based company wants to build a 50-acre site and pier, where it will crush rock and load the material onto barges on the Penobscot River.

But the Maine DEP said it needs more information about potential noise from the rock crushing machines, a concern Prospect residents have as well. In a letter to the engineering consultants who submitted the applications, the state also questioned why the company wants to use the Penobscot River to transport material.

The state’s letter detailed 12 “deficiencies” that need more information or attention before the DEP can accept the Bowden Point plans. Beyond its concerns about noise and the use of the river, the DEP said it’s looking for more evidence that the company has sufficient funds to finance the project, though the Bowden Point applications did include several bank statements.

Initial applications from Bowden Point Properties, an affiliate of Salmons Inc., say the rock crushing will occur within an enclosed area and won't generate much noise. The company said the sound from the project would have a minor impact on nearby properties.

The DEP said Bowden Point can resubmit its applications at any time. The quarry project will eventually require local, state and federal approval.

Prospect residents have said they’re concerned about the project’s potential impact on their property values and water supply. According to the Bowden Point application, the company estimates it will need 50,000 gallons of water each day for rock crushing operations.