Homeowners Blast Proposed Quarry In Heated Public Hearing

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GURLEY, Ala. (WHNT) -Hundreds of people showed up for a public hearing in Gurley Tuesday night, expressing outrage over a proposed rock quarry near their homes.

Roughly 200 homeowners packed the auditorium at Madison County Elementary in a meeting that turned into a virtual avalanche against Birmingham-based Vulcan Materials. Vulcan has already received preliminary approval for a quarry site on the west side of Gurley Mountain, but those who live nearby say it would have a devastating impact on property values and overall quality of life.

Noise, breathing issues from dust, and pollution of nearby Hurricane Creek were just some of the issues raised. The Alabama Department of Environmental Management conducted Tuesday's meeting, and has the final say on whether or not Vulcan's permit will be approved.

"It's a residential community, I don't want them as a neighbor," said homeowner Forest Newton, who noted the quarry would impact thousands of people in a span from Gurley to Hampton Cove. "I don't care how good of a neighbor they are, I don't want them as a neighbor. I want another house [for a neighbor]."

The town of Gurley just fought another battle on a different quarry, which finally ended in 2012.  This second project would impact a wide-ranging area of eastern Madison County, including parts of Huntsville.

State Senator Shadrack McGill represents the affected area.  He has already pledged to work with his fellow state lawmakers to block the project.

The Madison County Commission passed a similar resolution a few days ago.  Members said they will support the people who are concerned about the quarry.