Limestone County residents concerned about area limestone quarry

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LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. - It's a conflict in Limestone County over limestone.

Efforts to remove the county's namesake stone from the earth at a Rogers Group quarry off Gray Road are the bedrock of some citizens' concerns. The blasts are noisy, said Holly Denenny.

"The loud blasts, it feels to me- and I've never been in an earthquake, but it feels to me like an earthquake," she explained. She said she fears for her home's value, and also the strength of the blasts.

"They can't tell us how long they expect this to go on," she said. "I don't feel like they can say for sure that I won't have damage to the foundation of my home."

The quarry is in Huntsville-annexed Limestone County, but on the other side of the road is unincorporated Limestone County. Denenny said it has been difficult to figure out which public officials to turn to about her concerns.

Over in Limestone County, commission chairman Mark Yarbrough told us he is checking with attorneys to see if the county has any ability to influence the quarry situation, or help the residents who are concerned. He believes the responsibility likely lies with Huntsville. Denenny and a group of citizens came to the last commission meeting to make the commission aware of their concerns.

WHNT News 19 went to Huntsville's Department of Natural Resources Director, Daniel Shea, who said the quarry has the proper permitting, went through the correct channels, and compliance to do the job.

"They've detonated 4 shots so far, and each of those has been in compliance with the city's ordinance limits," he explained, noting that Huntsville's blasting ordinance limits ground vibration and air blasts.

Shea said the levels his office has observed from the quarry are far below the legal limits.

"Levels that are well below those ordinance limits won't cause damage to people's homes, and that's probably the most important thing for people to know," he commented. "I'd be very surprised if there is any damage, given the measurements that we've seen." He told us he doesn't expect long term damage in this situation.

But Denenny isn't convinced, saying her neighbors have told her about damage to their homes.

She also wants the county, or city of Huntsville, to address another concern: roads.

"The other thing I would like to see is the Limestone County Commission to put up weight limit signs on Newby and on Gray," Denenny said of the local streets quarry trucks use. "I want the trucks to stay off of our roads, because this is Limestone County and we are going to have to pay to repave the roads when in essence this should be a city of Huntsville issue."

She said it would be a good idea for Huntsville to connect a new road from Huntsville Brownsferry Road to the quarry, so the trucks didn't enter Limestone County's side at all. For her, it's a safety issue for neighbors.

"I would like to have their trucks to out onto Brownsferry, because there are few houses that sit on Brownsferry Road so there is less chance of a child being run over, or things like that," she said.

Denenny said she will continue to ask local and state leaders and lawmakers about this issue.

A spokesman from Rogers Group did not return WHNT News 19's call requesting a comment Tuesday.