Geryville Quarry (Dormant)
Editor's note: This issue is currently dormant. We will continue monitoring the situation and may take up the issue in the future.
Geryville Materials, Inc, first submitted an application to the PA Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) to operate a noncoal surface mine in Lower Milford Township, Lehigh County in 2008. At that time a stream upgrade petition for the Upper Perkiomen Creek and Macoby Creek, submitted by DRN and partners was being considered. That petition closed with no change in the designations of the Upper Perkiomen Creek and Macoby Creek. However, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN) subsequently submitted an upgrade petition for the Hosensack Creek watershed. The proposed quarry would be located in this watershed.
As first proposed, this project would have opened a 628.5 acre quarry, impacting three unnamed tributaries to the Hosensack Creek and as well as an unnamed tributary to Macoby Creek. Geryville Materials’ withdrew its 2008 application proposed quarry operation, resubmitting a revised application in 2014. In 2015, Geryville Materials submitted a further revised application that reduced the area to be mined to 127 acres.
On June 3, 2015, the PA DEP held a public hearing in Lower Milford Township to take comments on a proposed quarry, stone crushing operation, and asphalt plant. These facilities would be located along the Hosensack's cleanest tributaries. Local residents packed the Lower Milford Township Building to express their concerns about the impacts of the quarry and associated facilities on the quality of the environment and quality of life. View video of testimony from that hearing here.
On October 22, 2015, PADEP issued a deficiency letter to Geryville Materials regarding its quarry with a list of 95 deficiencies to be addressed. Among the listed deficiencies were many issues raised by DRN, including some issues that DRN alone appears to have raised. Geryville Materials had 30 days to let PADEP know how long it would take to address the list of deficiencies, but did not do so. The company did ask to meet with PADEP and, after an early 2016 meeting, Geryville Materials was given 14 months to address the list of deficiencies.
In May 2017, Geryville submitted additional materials in response PADEP’s 2015 list of deficiencies, but PADEP noted there were still many remaining deficiencies. PADEP issued a second deficiency letter to Geryville Materials on September 30, 2019. Again, Geryville Materials requested a meeting with PADEP. After a meeting in January 2020, PADEP gave Geryville Materials until June 30, 2020 to address the deficiencies in its application.
On July 29, 2020, Geryville Materials’ communicated to PADEP that it had decided to with draw its application to open a quarry in the Hosensack Creek watershed. On July 31, 2020, PADEP processed Geryville Materials’ request and affirmed that this application is no longer valid.
Geryville Materials has indicated it intends to refile in the future, but this project will be starting from scratch and will need to overcome the same barriers that prevented the project from moving forward previously.