Questions about the impact of a proposed quarry expansion on the local water supply dominated a Richmond Township zoning hearing Tuesday night. Allentown-based Lehigh Cement Co. wants to use a limestone quarry on 206 acres it owns along Eagle Road in Richmond Township. It has not been quarried since the late 1980s. The land is in an agricultural zone now used for farming so the company needs approval from the township’s planning commission and zoning hearing board.
Zoning board member Jack C. Krause asked several questions about the impact the quarry would have on Moselem Creek, which he said was classified as a high-quality stream by the state about 10 years ago. But Michael J. Menghini of the state Department of Environmental Protection aid that similar
quarries around the state have not damaged nearby water supplies.
The state would require Lehigh to consult with neighbours whose wells could be drained by the quarrying and may force the company to replace residents’ water, Menghini said. That means Lehigh could supply tanker trucks or bottled water while new wells are being drilled.
The DEP allows Lehigh to discharge 748,000 gallons of water from the site each day, but Menghini didn’t know how much water runoff comes from the land now. The hearing was adjourned to April 17.